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Wednesday, 15 May 1985
Page: 1972

Senator LEWIS(12.19) —I want to respond to some aspects of this matter. Firstly, I find it most surprising that the way the National Party discovers that the Government is about to bring down a White Paper in regard to statutory authorities and its views in regard to the options in relation to statutory authorities is in the course of a Committee debate on the Housing Loans Insurance Amendment Bill. I was a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations when it was involved in an enormously extensive investigation into statutory authorities of the Commonwealth. I think we produced seven reports in regard to that matter. The Minister for Education, Senator Ryan, might say that we have not argued this case. But if she were to bother to read some of those reports she would see quite clearly the views which the bipartisan Committee expressed in regard to statutory authorities. I agree totally with what Senator Archer has said. Apparently, Senator Haines, for the Australian Democrats, also agrees that it is not right that a chairman of a statutory authority should be the executive officer of the same body. Even if he is the most competent person in Australia to hold both those positions, the dictatorial nature of holding both positions in such an authority is frankly wrong. So although we will not go to a division on this matter, I certainly do not intend to withdraw the motion.

Proposed new clause negatived.

Clause 9 (Corporation to carry on certain insurance business).