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Friday, 22 February 1985
Page: 42


The PRESIDENT —As Leader of the Commonwealth of Australia Branch Delegation to the Thirtieth Commonwealth Parliament Association Conference held in Douglas, Isle of Man, in September-October 1984, I present the report of the Delegation. I am pleased to inform the Senate that the Douglas Conference was a most successful conference, both for the Association generally and from the point of view of the Commonwealth of Australia Branch.

In terms of the Association the most significant matter was the continuation of consideration of the report of the Working Party on the CPA and the future. Certain decisions were made by the General Assembly meeting in Nairobi in 1983 and remaining matters were considered most thoroughly in Douglas, culminating in the decision of the Conference, by an overwhelming majority, to adopt the Working Party report.

Honourable senators will recall that the Commonwealth of Australia Branch was heavily involved in the decision to establish the Working Party, and played a major role in its deliberations. Members of the Delegation were heavily involved in consideration of the report by the Conference. The adoption of the report will be very important for the future of the Association, covering as it does such matters as representation on the Executive Committee and means by which savings in expenditure could be achieved in the operation of the Association.

Honourable senators should also be aware that the new Chairman of the Executive Committee is the distinguished Speaker of the Indian Lok Sabha, Dr the Hon. Bal Ram Jakhar, with whom I had the honour to work closely on the Working Party and who is a long-serving member of the Association. The Conference was most productive in that it enabled some 188 delegates and committee members representing 95 branches of the Commonwealth to debate and discuss a wide range of topical parliamentary, economic, governmental and social issues.

The efforts of the officers of the Isle of Man Branch, the members of Tynwald who participated so wholeheartedly in conference activities and of the Manx people all combined in ensuring an interesting and fruitful conference. On behalf of myself, my fellow delegates and our spouses I express great appreciation of the generosity and hospitality of our hosts.

I would also like to place on record my thanks for the support, assistance and industrious participation of my fellow Australian delegates, from the Commonwealth and State parliaments and from the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. I can say, without hesitation, that the Australian Delegation took an active part in conference debates and in the deliberations of the General Assembly, and I appreciate the efforts of all my colleagues. They and their spouses were all great ambassadors for Australia.