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Wednesday, 10 June 1970

Mr SWARTZ (Darling Downs) (Minister for National Development) - The Government cannot accept this amendment. I clearly pointed out in my second reading speech, and 1 have subsequently referred to the matter, that clause 23 gives the Minister the authority to determine the number of persons that will be employed by the Corporation at any one time. There have been a number of interpretations placed on this; some of them have been slightly misrepresented. But this is not an authority that is not found in many other circumstances where a board, a Minister or the head of a department has to determine the number of staff within the organisation or the department. It is not simply a matter of the Minister making an individual judgment in relation to it. He, of course, will have the advice of the Corporation and also of the consultative committee. When the determination is made as lo the strength of the Corporation in the first case, it is not final that that will remain as the strength indefinitely. The clause slates:

The Minister may, by instrument in writing, determine that the number of persons employed by the Corporation at any time shall not exceed the number specified in the instrument.

In other words, if within 12 months or 2 years it is found necessary to change the number of staff employed, the Minister can on the advice of his advisers - particularly on the advice of the Corporation - consider the matter and implement what would be a normal practice. We feel that the situation is well covered and that in this particular system the Corporation will function well and will effectively carry out its duties in accordance with the requirements and, as I said before, in the same efficient way as it has in the past. So for the various reasons which I have previously mentioned and referred to again now, the Government cannot accept this amendment.

Clause agreed to.

Remainder of Bill - by leave - taken as a whole, and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report - by leave - adopted.

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