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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- 1 move -

After sub-clause (3.) insert the following subclause: - " (3a.) Where a Tribunal is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section and the members fail to agree, then no further proceedings shall be commenced with respect to the matter on which the members failed to agree save with the leave of the Court.".

I ask the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) to consider carefully the consequences of clause 22 as it stands at present. I put it that in certain circumstances these provisions would act most unfairly against a person who was a party to proceedings before the tribunal. Sub-clause (1.) of clause 22 provides for sittings of the tribunal with two members - presumably when one member of the tribunal becomes ill. In sub-clause (2.) the presidential member has a discretion to appoint a third member. Sub-clause (3.) confers a presidential discretion not to appoint a third member. Going back to sub-clause (2.) of clause 21, one finds provision for a determination in accordance with the opinion of the majority.

I put it to my honorable friend that if, in accordance with the discretion which is provided in sub-clause (3.) of clause 22, the presidential member failed to appoint a third member, a stalemate could result. The Commissioner could take proceedings under clause 47 and bring a party before a tribunal. The tribunal might start off with three members, constituted in the orthodox fashion. Let us suppose the proceedings no sooner open than a member becomes ill. The president in his discretion decides not to appoint a third member and at the end of the hearing the two remaining members of the tribunal arrive at different conclusions. This means that the tribunal cannot make a decision in accordance with subclause (2.) of clause 21. What is the position of the party involved? It could well be that the Commissioner would come back in two months or two years and re-open the matter, hauling the party before the tribunal again.

I put it to the Attorney-General that my amendment does not cut across Government policy on this Bill at all. I suggest that when the president does exercise a discretion and refuses to appoint a third person it should not be open to the Commissioner to take further proceedings against the party concerned after the tribunal constituted by only two members has failed to arrive at a determination, save with leave of the Court. I hope the Attorney-General will be prepared to accept the amendment.

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