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PUBLIC SERVICE ACTS AMENDMENT BILL 1982

The Senate, according to Order, resolved itself into Committee for the consideration of the Bill.

In the Committee

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Messner), by leave, moved the following amendments together:

Pages 3 and 4, clause 5, sub-clause (1), paragraph (d), line 38 (page 3) to line 7 (page 4), leave out proposed sub-section (2AA).

Pages 14 and 15, clause 21, sub-clause (1), line 38 (page 14) to line 2 (page 15 ), leave out the definition of ''promotion'' in proposed sub-section 33 (1), insert the following definition:

'' 'promotion', in relation to an officer, means a movement of the officer within the Service for the purpose of his occupying an office in respect of which a rate of salary is payable, or a maximum rate of salary is applicable, that is higher than the rate of salary that was payable, or the maximum rate of salary that was applicable, as the case may be, in respect of the office occupied by him, or, in the case of an unattached officer, to or in respect of him, immediately before the movement took place.''.

Page 16, clause 21, sub-clause (1), after proposed section 33A, insert the following proposed section:

Prohibition of patronage, &c. '' '33AA. Powers under this Act in respect of recruitment, appointments, transfers or promotions shall be exercised in accordance with procedures that involve a careful assessment of those personal qualifications and capabilities that are likely to contribute to the efficient working of the Service and preclude patronage, favouritism or unjustified discrimination.''.

Page 24, clause 25, leave out the clause.

Page 27, clause 28, line 4, leave out ''inquire'', insert ''make full inquiries' '.

Page 27, clause 28, lines 7 to 41, leave out proposed paragraphs 50D (2) (a) to (h), insert:

''(a) may follow such procedures as it thinks fit; and

(b) is not bound by the rules of evidence and may inform itself in such manner as it thinks fit.''.

Pages 27 and 28, clause 28, line 42 (page 27) to line 12 (page 28), leave out proposed sub-sections 50D (3) and (4).

Page 28, clause 28, after proposed sub-section (6), insert the following sub- section:

'' '(6A) After the conclusion of the appeal proceedings, the Committee may, in addition to any report referred to in sub-section (6), furnish to the Board a report on any matter arising out of the inquiries made by the Committee that the Committee considers desirable to bring to the attention of the Board.''.

Page 30, clause 28, lines 38 to 42, leave out proposed sub-section 50H (6), insert the following sub-section:

'' '(6) Where an officer to whom this section applies makes an appeal under this section or section 50B, the making of the appeal-

(a) does not prevent the Board from issuing a certificate in respect of the officer under section 11 or 14 of the Commonwealth Employees (Redeployment and Retirement) Act 1979;

(b) does not constitute a ground for a Commonwealth Employees Redeployment and Retirement Appeals Tribunal revoking under paragraph 15 (2) (b) of that Act a certificate issued in respect of the officer under section 11 or 14 of that Act; and

(c) does not affect the operation of section 19 of that Act.''.

Pages 37 and 38, clause 31, sub-clause (1), line 37 (page 37) to line 20 (page 38), leave out proposed sections 53H and 53J, insert the following sections:

Member ceasing to act '' '53H. (1) Where a Committee has been constituted for the purposes of an appeal but, before the appeal has been finally determined by the Committee or the Committee has furnished a report to the Board on the claims of each party to the appeal proceedings, as the case may be, a member or members of the Committee (in this sub-section referred to as the ''ceasing member or ceasing members'') ceases or cease to be such a member or members or, for any other reason, ceases or cease to take part in consideration of the claims of the respective parties to the appeal proceedings or in the determination of the appeal or the furnishing of the report, the Committee shall be reconstituted by the remaining member or members (if any) and another member or other members selected or nominated in accordance with sub-section 53C (1).

'' '(2) Where a Committee is reconstituted pursuant to sub-section (1), the Committee as reconstituted may, subject to sub-section (3), have regard to the evidence given, the argument adduced and the reasons for any decision given during the proceedings before the Committee as previously constituted.

'' '(3) Sub-section (2) does not apply in relation to a Committee that is reconstituted pursuant to sub-section (1) unless-

(a) 2 of the members of the Committee as reconstituted were members of the Committee as previously constituted; or

(b) the parties to the appeal proceedings agree that the sub-section is to apply .

Split decisions '' '53J. For the purposes of the determination of an appeal or of any matter arising in the course of an appeal, where the members of the Committee do not concur in a decision relating to the determination of that appeal or of that matter-

(a) if a majority of the members concur in a decision-the decision of the majority shall be deemed to be the decision of the Committee; and

(b) in any other case-the decision of the Chairman of the Committee shall be deemed to be the decision of the Committee.''.

Pages 38 to 46, clause 31, sub-clause (1), leave out proposed Subdivision F.

Page 57, clause 59, paragraph (a), line 29, leave out ''53 and 53L'', insert '' and 53''.

Pages 62 and 63, clause 73, leave out the clause.

Pages 63 and 64, clause 74, line 14 (page 63) to line 2 (page 64), leave out proposed section 89A.

Page 64, clause 74, at the end of proposed section 89B, add the following sub- section:

'' '(3) Sub-section (1) does not apply in relation to a report unless- (a) the person who made the report believed on reasonable grounds that it was the function or duty of the person to whom the report was made to receive the report ; and

(b) in the case of a report containing matter that was false or misleading in a material respect, the person who made the report did not know, and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained, that the report contained matter that was so false or misleading.'.''.

Pages 65 to 72, clause 79, leave out the clause.

Pages 72 to 73, clause 80, leave out the clause.

Page 73, clause 81, leave out the clause.

Page 77, Part IV, leave out the Part.

Pages 77 and 78, Part V, leave out the Part.

Page 78, clause 98, sub-clause (2), lines 28 to 38, leave out the sub-clause, insert the following sub-clause:

''(2) Schedule 2 to the Principal Act is amended by omitting from paragraph(s) ' promotions in accordance with section 53B or 53C' and substituting 'transfers or promotions under section 53A'.''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the amendments be agreed to-put and passed.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Button) moved an amendment, viz:

Page 16, clause 21, sub-clause (1), proposed new section 33AA, at end of section , add the following new sub-section:

'' '(2) Powers or discretions under this Act shall be exercised in a manner which does not discriminate in employment on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status or political belief, except where reasonably and justifiably required for the effective performance of the work being undertaken, and except where such discrimination is part of a program of affirmative action for disadvantaged groups.'.''.

The Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Chipp) moved an amendment to the proposed amendment, viz: Leave out proposed new sub-section (2), insert:

''(2) Except where reasonably and justifiably required for the effective performance of the work being undertaken, and except where such discrimination is part of a program of affirmative action for disadvantaged groups of persons, powers or discretions under this Act shall be exercised in a manner which does not discriminate in employment on grounds of race, creed, sex (including homosexuality between consenting adults), age, colour, language, national or social origin, marital status, birth or other status, mental or physical handicap, security record, educational qualifications or religious, political, ethical or other beliefs.''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out be left out (Senator Chipp's amendment)-put and negatived.

Amendment to the proposed amendment negatived accordingly.

Question-That the words proposed to be added be added (Senator Button's amendment)-put and negatived.

Senator Robertson moved an amendment, viz: Page 7, clause 6, proposed new sub- section 9B (2), lines 18 and 19, leave out all words after ''before'', insert:

''(a) the Senate, in the case of a report concerning the Department of the Senate;

(b) the House of Representatives, in the case of a report concerning the Department of the House of Representatives; and

(c) each House of the Parliament, in the case of a report concerning any of the other Parliamentary Departments''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out be left out-put and passed.

Question-That the words proposed to be inserted be inserted-put and passed.

Amendment agreed to accordingly.

Senator Messner moved an amendment, viz:

Page 1, clause 2, sub-clauses (1) and (2), lines (7) to (14), leave out the sub- clauses, insert the following sub-clauses:

''(1) Sections 1, 2 and 3, sub-section 4 (2), sections 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17, sub-sections 18 (1) and 26 (1), sections 29, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 53, 58, 69 and 74, sub-section 76 (2), sections 77, 82 and 87 and Part VI (other than sections 98, 99, 103 and 104) shall come into operation on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

''(2) Sub-sections 4 (3) and 35 (1), sections 42 and 50, sub-section 52 (2), sections 54, 55 and 65, sub-section 66 (1) and sections 68 and 103 shall be deemed to have come into operation on 15 March 1981.''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out be left out-put and passed.

Question-That the words proposed to be inserted be inserted-put and passed.

Amendment agreed to accordingly.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill to be reported with amendments.

The Acting Deputy-President (Senator Bonner) resumed the Chair; and the Chairman of Committees (Senator McClelland) reported accordingly.

On the motion of Senator Messner the Report from the Committee was adopted, and the Bill read a third time.