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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 107


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(9.19) —I despair of ever getting any sense into Senator Mason's perception of how the real world operates in the commercial, research or any other environment.


Senator Mason —Do you think it is good that they should sell at a loss?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I suppose there is a long history of sales of isotopes for medical and other uses at less than a total cost recovery basis, for a variety of reasons which have been the subject of extended examination over a long period. I can assure Senator Mason that, with the Minister for Finance (Senator Walsh) and me riding shotgun in this respect, there has been a very substantial improvement in the extent to which cost recovery is obtained, but the nature of the operation is such as to make that difficult right across the board.

We are talking not just about the supply of isotopes for a particular purpose but about the whole thrust and nature of the organisation-how the research program should be designed in such a way at the end of the day to encourage knowledge and research output which is useful not only in a pure nuclear physicists sense but also in terms of the long term needs not of some particular commercial kind of a particular business group which may benefit but of the Australian economy and the Australian community. It is exactly the kind of high-tech exercise which people are constantly exhorting Australia to engage in, to use the brain power, the education and the skills that we undoubtedly possess in this country to national commercial and economic advantage.

The whole point of the exercise is to mobilise some of the best brains in the business-commercially oriented and user group oriented brains-to get the direction of the organisation focused again, to get a stance organised and focused, in such a way that it benefits not just the heroic band of scientists who have kept going with varying degrees of government indifference over the last few decades but this nation as a whole. That is what it is about and that is what we hope the advisory council will contribute to its deliberations, in exactly the same way that the advisory council that now exists for the Bureau of Mineral Resources hopefully has this role and the advisory councils that have existed in and around the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have for such a long period played a role. This is the sort of thing we are getting at and that is why, I repeat, Senator Mason's amendment, addressed as it is to a different set of concerns, really is misconceived.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 39 to 42-by leave-taken together.

Amendments (by Senator Gareth Evans)-by leave-agreed to:

(45) Page 19, clause 40, leave out paragraph (b) of sub-clause (1), insert the following paragraph:

``(b) the Minister's powers under sub-paragraph 5 (1) (a) (iii), sub-section 9 (10), sections 11 and 17, sub-sections 24A (1), (2), (9), (11), (15) and (16) and sections 26, 29, 38 and 43.''.

(46) Page 19, clause 40, after sub-clause (2), insert the following sub-clause:

``(2A) A delegate is, in the exercise of a power so delegated, subject to the directions of the Minister.''.

(47) Page 19, after clause 40, insert the following new clause:

Delegation by Treasurer

``40A. (1) The Treasurer may, either generally or as otherwise provided by the instrument of delegation, by writing signed by the Treasurer, delegate to a person holding or performing the duties of an office in the Department of the Treasury all or any of the Treasurer's powers under sections 31 and 32.

``(2) A power so delegated, when exercised by the delegate, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been exercised by the Treasurer.

``(3) A delegate is, in the exercise of a power so delegated, subject to the directions of the Treasurer.

``(4) A delegation under this section does not prevent the exercise of a power by the Treasurer.''.

(48) Page 19, clause 41, after sub-clause (2), insert the following sub-clause:

``(2A) A delegate is, in the exercise of a power so delegated, subject to the directions of the Board.''.

(49) Page 20, clause 42, after sub-clause (2), insert the following sub-clause:

``(2A) A delegate is, in the exercise of a power so delegated, subject to the directions of the Executive Director.''.

(50) Leave out from the following clauses ``Executive'' (wherever occurring), insert ``Board'': 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 24, 26, 27, 38, 39 and 41.

(51) Leave out from the following clauses ``Chief Executive Officer'' (wherever occurring), insert ``Executive Director'': 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 42.

Clauses 39 to 42, as amended, agreed to.

Remainder of Bill-by leave-taken as a whole, and agreed to.

AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION (TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS) BILL

1985

The Bill.

Amendments (by Senator Gareth Evans)-by leave-agreed to:

(1) Page 3, clause 10, line 23, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(2) Page 4, clause 12, line 8, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(3) Page 4, clause 15, line 36, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(4) Page 4, clause 15, line 43, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(5) Page 5, clause 15, line 5, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(6) Page 5, clause 15, line 9, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

ATOMIC ENERGY AMENDMENT BILL 1985

Bill agreed to.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Bill 1985 and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Transitional Provisions) Bill 1985 reported with amendments, and Atomic Energy Amendment Bill 1985 reported without amendment; report adopted.