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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2638


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(3.55) —I am happy to give Senator Chipp the undertaking he seeks. We will keep the structure and effectiveness of the National Crime Authority under very close review and should it become apparent that the performance of the Authority would be more effective with additions to its membership, however that might be accomplished, we would certainly take the necessary steps to introduce legislation to enable an appropriate increase in size. For the moment, from the outset, we do not see the case for producing an element of elephantiasis in the way the Authority is structured. There will be ample staff and ample expertise to support it and it is more important as we see it that the Authority itself-the decision-making body, the body that we will have to agree with about recommendations-be small and cohesive rather than sprawling around the countryside with all the potential problems of reaching agreement and the further problems about the divisions to which Senator Chipp referred. It is difficult to judge properly how this will work but certainly with the experience of a few months or perhaps a year's operation of the Authority under our belts we will be in a much better position than we are now to make judgments about these structural matters.