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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr J R FRASER . - Mr. Temporary Chairman, I move -

After paragraph (b) insert the following paragraph: - " (ba) by adding after sub-section (1.) the following sub-section: - (1a.) Before the instrument of variation is laid before each House of the Parliament, as required by the next succeeding sub-section, the Minister shall refer the proposal to the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory which shall furnish a report to the Minister within seven sitting days.'; ".

I do not propose to weary the committee by repeating the arguments which I believe favour the course proposed in this amendment, as I have already put them to honorable members in some detail at the secondreading stage, especially since I think the committee is at present constituted without any change by the same honorable members who were then present. However, I ask the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth) to give very earnest consideration to this proposal. If he feels that at present it is not possible to adopt a statutory provision to refer proposals for variation of the plan to the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory, perhaps he will consider taking action to give statutory backing to the committee and thus not only give effect to his own present intentions and practice but also provide machinery that would compel any future Minister for the Interior, be he Labour, Liberal or a member of the Australian Country Party, to follow the practice which the present Minister says is a good practice and which he himself follows.

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