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AUSTRALIA CARD-PROPOSED JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE-Message from the House of Representatives

The following Message from the House of Representatives was reported:

MR PRESIDENT,...Message No. 194

The House of Representatives transmits to the Senate the following Resolution which was agreed to by the House of Representatives this day, and requests that the Senate concur and take action accordingly:

(1) That a joint select committee be appointed to inquire into and report on all aspects of the Government's proposals for an Australia Card, including-

(a) the costs of introducing and operating the system;

(b) the likely effectiveness of the proposed system in combatting evasion of, and fraud against, the taxation and welfare systems, and in fulfilling the other purposes for which the system has been proposed;

(c) the most appropriate means of identification which should appear on Australia Cards to ensure the effectiveness of the system;

(d) the most appropriate method of establishing positive identification of individuals for the purpose of issuing Australia Cards;

(e) the experience of other countries in utilising identification systems;

(f) the inclusion of adequate protection against abuses of civil liberties and invasion of privacy;

(g) the comparable cost-effectiveness of alternative proposals to combat evasion of, and fraud against, the taxation and welfare systems and the other purposes for which the system has been proposed;

(h) whether use of the Australia Card should be universal and/or compulsory and, if so, for what purposes and by whom;

(i) limits which should be placed on the requirement for individuals to produce an Australia Card;

(j) the extent to which the Australia Card may facilitate data linkage by Commonwealth departments and authorities, and the most appropriate means whereby such data linkage should be subjected to adequate supervision and safeguards, and

(k) other related matters which the committee may deem appropriate.

(2) That the committee consist of 8 members, 3 members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the National Party or the National Party Whip, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Australian Democrats.

(3) That every nomination of a member of the committee be forthwith notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(4) That the members of the committee hold office as a joint committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.

(5) That the committee elect a Government member as its chairman.

(6) That the committee elect a deputy chairman who shall perform the duties of the chairman of the committee at any time when the chairman is not present at a meeting of the committee and at any time when the chairman and the deputy chairman are not present at a meeting of the committee the members present shall elect another member to perform the duties of the chairman at that meeting.

(7) That 4 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.

(8) That the committee have power to send for persons, papers and records.

(9) That the committee have power to move from place to place.

(10) That the committee have power to adjourn from time to time.

(11) That the committee have power to authorise publication of any evidence given before it and any document presented to it.

(12) That the committee report by 31 March 1986.

(13) That the committee have leave to report from time to time.

(14) That the foregoing provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

House of Representatives,...H. A. JENKINS,

Canberra, 13 November 1985...Speaker

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt), by leave, moved-

(1) That the Senate concurs in the Resolution transmitted to the Senate by Message No. 194 of the House of Representatives relating to the appointment of a Joint Select Committee on the Government's proposals for an Australia Card.

(2) That the provisions of the Resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders.

(3) That the foregoing Resolution be communicated to the House of Representatives by Message.

Debate ensued.

Ordered-That the debate be adjourned till a later hour of the day, and that Senator Durack have leave to continue his speech on the resumption of the debate.