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Friday, 19 October 1984
Page: 2042


Senator MACKLIN(9.38) —I move:

3. Page 7, paragraph 16 (2) (a), line 14, leave out 'if reasons have been given by the Council for not recommending', insert 'give reasons why the Council did not recommend'.

4. Page 7, paragraph 16 (2) (a), lines 15 and 16, leave out '-set out those reasons'.

5. Page 11, paragraph 25 (2) (a), line 14, leave out 'if reasons have been given by the Council for not recommending', insert 'give reasons why the Council did not recommend'.

6. Page 11, paragraph 25 (2) (a), lines 15 and 16, leave out '-set out those reasons'.

Amendments 4, 5 and 6 are consequent upon amendment 3. We believe it is important, in the situation we are talking about, that reasons be given. I am seeking to leave out the words 'if reasons have been given' and to insert instead 'give reasons why the Council did not recommend'. I think the importance of actually drafting it in that way-this is one of the first examples of sloppy drafting that one can see throughout this Bill, which has been thrown together- is that the ongoing nature of the biological control which is required under this Bill cannot be done effectively by the public if they do not know the reasons the Australian Agricultural Council uses in making its decisions, even where the Council may not recommend. That is an important element. If, for example, one wishes to look at a case in the following year for the year after, or even a case relating to a similar biological agent or organism, and if the Government is genuine in seeking the participation of the public, of individuals and of small business in this operation, it ought to be requiring the Council to give reasons. I remind the Minister for Social Security (Senator Grimes) that one of the reasons the Bill came up-the problem a lot of people have been discussing-is salvation Jane.

Individuals in small business do not have a great deal of resources. They are not capable of engaging in the massive legal operations that large companies undertake. They would have to band together, as did the apiarists in South Australia, to fight these matters. By and large, because individuals-be they in business, in universities or in colleges of advanced education-have an interest in this matter the reasons that are given at the various stages ought to be given publicly. It should not be good enough to say 'if the Council gives reasons'; the Council should have to give reasons for not recommending, as it does for recommending.