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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) .- I suggest that clause 1 1 cannot be considered without at the same time giving some consideration to the amendment which the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) proposes to move to clause 17. He proposes to move for the deletion of clause 17, which, as it now stands in the Bill, states -

A member shall1 not engage in paid employment outside the duties of his office.

Apparently, when the Bill was drafted, the presumption was that the members of the tribunal ought to be full time members.

What the Attorney-General is suggesting now - I can see his point - is that in the early stages there will not be enough work-

Mr Snedden - No. I made the point that certainly in the early stages there will not be enough work, and that in the later stages there might not be.

Mr CREAN - Let me make my point in my own way. With all respect to the AttorneyGeneral, I think he is wrong. Even if there is not any work for the tribunal, I think that during the time when they are not very busy the members whom he appoints should have a look at how some of these tribunals in other parts of the world are working. In the academic world - we had an argument about academics this afternoon - sabbatical leave is taken at the end of a certain time. The members of this tribunal could enjoy the luxury of being able to take their sabbatical leave in advance. The amendment proposes that they shall be paid on a pro rata basis. I presume that instead of paying them £5,000 or £6,000 per annum, they will be paid at a certain rate per month if they serve for a month. I should think that some of these people would be much better members if they saw how other tribunals work before this tribunal gets cluttered up with business. It was suggested during the second reading debate that the Commissioner and the tribunal could get cluttered up with work. Very little, if anything, will go through to the tribunal except through the Commissioner. I suggest, with respect, that we should appoint the members of the tribunal and give them an opportunity of travelling around the world. I should think they would get a great deal of valuable information if they were to visit the United Kingdom, the United States of America and possibly Scandinavia, where tribunals of this kind are established. I suggest also that they be appointed at an annual salary, not just on a pro rata basis.

Looking at what is suggested in clause 17, it would seem that when the AttorneyGeneral drafted the Bill in the first place he thought that the members of the tribunal should be full-time members. I think that is a fair enough deduction to draw from the Bill as it was written originally. It would seem that the Attorney-General has had second thoughts about the matter. I suggest that he have third thoughts about it and appoint the members with full-time status. I think that the work of the tribunal in the future will be greatly advantaged if the members are given the opportunity in the next 12 or 18 months to examine die procedures under corresponding legislation in other parts of the world.

I support the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) in his opposition to the Attorney-General's proposal. In doing so, I am offering a new ground for our opposition. I ask that the Attorney-General give serious consideration to appointing the members of the tribunal with full-time status and to giving them the right during the next 12 or 18 months to examine how other tribunals are working. I think our tribunal will be all the better for the knowledge that its members will be able to gain from being able to move freely from one part of the world to another.

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