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Thursday, 9 May 1985
Page: 1687


Senator MISSEN(6.25) —I support very strongly what Senator Lewis has said. I do so particularly because I was a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the New Parliament House for some time-I think six or eight years. I saw the work that Sir Bernard Callinan and other members of the Committee did. The work involved people having to come to Canberra from other parts of Australia. These gentlemen had no particular axe to grind and no particular benefit to derive. We did. We were members of the Committee because we were going to live in the building and we were concerned with its internal mechanisms. Those gentlemen were prepared to give a lot of their time to this work. I think it is disgraceful that they have been removed in this way without any notice and any reason whatsoever being given for it. I think that they are entitled to an abject apology from the Government for what it has done.

If this Government expects people to continue to give voluntary and helpful service-people of the eminence who are named-in the future, it should remember that they will have before them the glaring example of the way in which these men were removed from their positions. They read about it in the newspaper. That must be bad for all of us in this Parliament. We recognise that voluntary service is a tremendously important thing. A great deal of the work that is done for this country is done by people who give of their time. I am amazed that they do so much work. I would not be surprised if people are discouraged from doing it by this heartless and foolish action on the part of the Government. Therefore, I support very strongly what has been said. I hope that the Government will see fit to try to make at least some amendments.