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Thursday, 19 March 1987
Page: 1040


Senator COLLARD (Leader of the National Party of Australia)(10.16) —I just indicate that we will not support the amendments. We believe that the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment should have discretionary power. Senator Ryan also mentioned the cost of inquiries. With the best will in the world, it is almost a nonsense amendment. With regard to appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, we are of the opinion that governments are elected to govern and that Ministers make decisions. If every decision that a Minister makes were to be hived off to the AAT, we might as well give the game away and let the AAT do the job. As with all of us, Ministers have to face the people every few years and must thus bear the consequences of their decisions. We do not think that the AAT should be the court of final report; rather the Minister's decision should be final.