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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 81

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(5.27) —by leave-I move:

(1) Page 2, clause 3, lines 1 and 2, leave out the definition of ``appointed member'', insert the following definitions:

`` `appointed member' means a member of the Board other than the Executive Director;

`Board' means the Board of Directors of the Organisation;''.

(2) Page 2, clause 3, line 3, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(3) Page 2, clause 3, lines 4 and 5, leave out the definition of ``Chief Executive Officer''.

(4) Page 2, clause 3, line 7, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

(5) Page 2, clause 3, line 9, leave out the definition of ``Executive'', insert the following definition:

`` `Executive Director' means the Executive Director of the Organisation;''.

(6) Page 2, clause 3, line 11, leave out ``Chief Executive Officer'', insert ``Executive Director''.

(7) Page 2, clause 3, line 13, leave out ``Executive'', insert ``Board''.

There are seven amendments to this clause standing in the name of the Government. There will be quite a number of further Government amendments as we move through the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Bill. Spending just a moment explaining what those amendments are all about-there are a large number of them-might avoid the necessity for me to rise to my feet further because I believe that they are all uncontroversial. The major substance of these amendments relates to the insertion of a new provision into a renamed Part VI of the Bill which deals with the establishment of a Safety Review Committee with the functions of reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of the standards, practices and procedures adopted by the organisations to ensure the safety of its operations and to investigate any matter arising out of the operations of the organisation that may have adverse consequences or implications in relation to the safety of members of the staff of the organisation or the general public.

Other amendments, of which there are many numerically, relate to the change in titles of the Executive and Chief Executive Officer to Board of Directors and Executive Director respectively, which changes are intended to reflect the greater emphasis that the Government wishes to place on the commercial aspects of the organisation. There are further amendments which introduce the power of delegation for the Treasurer in relation to the organisation's borrowing arrangements; which make the powers of delegation of the Minister and others subject to directions; which require approvals for borrowings and dealings with securities to be in writing; which specify further powers of the Minister which may not be delegated; which require disclosure of interests by the Executive Director; which clarify the wording of certain sub-clauses; and which correct minor drafting errors.

I acknowledge that there are a large number of these amendments. It is not usual for there to be so many introduced at the Committee stage of a debate. I think this simply reflects the very long and tortuous history that this legislation has had in terms of the time that has elapsed since its first introduction into the Parliament and the opportunity that there accordingly has been for fine tuning and reconsideration of certain matters; none of which, as will be apparent from what I have said, are matters of great substance, but I think they are all matters which improve the Bill. I should also indicate that some of these matters are the result of discussion with the Australian Democrats, in particular, whose constructive contribution to our deliberations on this Bill has been much appreciated over the 12 months that it has taken us to get to the final stages of this debate.