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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2640


Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(4.05) —I ask a question of the Attorney-General to which I would like an answer before the debate is concluded. When appointments were made to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Government took an initiative that was welcomed by members on this side of the Committee. The Government undertook to present a panel of names to members of the Liberal Party of Australia, the National Party of Australia and the Australian Democrats, to try to obtain consensus on appointees to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It was a move that was most welcomed by the Liberal Party and indeed by us. Although the number of names suggested did not exceed the number of possible appointees by very many, we found it a very useful process. I ask the Attorney to contemplate putting up a list of names, even informally, to the various parties here. We can be trusted on matters like this, if it is given in confidence. It would strengthen the Attorney's hand. I know he has an enormous responsibility in choosing the right person. As this debate unfolds-Senator Lewis just reminded me of this-this Authority will either succeed or fail depending on the personnel chosen, not just the chairman. I ask the Attorney to consider that.