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Tuesday, 15 May 1973
Page: 2091


Mr GILES (Angas) - As the right honourable member for Higgins (Mr Gorton) is unwell with influenza and is in bed today I have pleasure in moving the amendments that he foreshadowed in his second reading speech and which, I believe, have been circulated to the House. I move:

Omit the clause, substitute the following clause:

11.   Section 14 of the Principal Act is amended:

(a)   by omitting sub-section (1) and substituting the following sub-section: "(1) There shall be a Cities Commission Advisory Committee to advise the Commission in connection with its duties and powers under this Act."

(b)   by omitting from sub-section (2) the word "eleven" and substituting the word "thirteen".'.

In foreshadowing this amendment the right honourable member for Higgins said that he believed that there should be on the Advisory Committee at least 2 persons who had a specialised and expert knowledge of preservation of the environment and conservation. He said further that the 1 1 members of the Advisory Committee have already been appointed and that it contains no such person, although one - a professor - is close to this general description. The right honourable member for Higgins wants the Committee to accept this amendment so that the Government in its wisdom will have the opportunity of appointing to the Advisory Committee 2 professional environmentalists or experts in conservation, a situation which he has said, and which I agree, is lacking under the present constitution of the Commission.

I have no doubt at all that the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren), being such a renowned if amateurish enthusiast about matters of conservation and the environment will enthusiastically accept the amendment I have moved on behalf of the right honourable member for Higgins. There is no doubt about that in my mind. I look forward with keen anticipation to the support he will undoubtedly give to it. In fact, he may well second the amendment for all I know. Quite frankly any different behaviour on the part of someone who speaks so feelingly about environmental and conservation matters, as does the Minister, would be difficult to countenance.

Only a few moments ago I sat down after giving, at the Committee stage of the debate on this Bill, a speech that should have been given in the second reading stage. I was able to do so due to the tolerance of the Chair. During that speech I emphasised the tremendous concern about this type of development that is felt by those who live in the towns and cities as well as the irrigation settlements further downstream. For example, the people of Adelaide are very dependent today on the supply of water from the River Murray to augment their future industrially, socially, horticultural^ and in every other way. I take on board the right honourable member for Higgins' suggestion and commend it as fiercely as I can to the chamber as being another measure that will give some assurance to the people living downstream from such development who want to make sure that water arriving for their use is in as good a state as possible. This is a conservation issue and a conservation matter. It is certainly of great importance environmentally to those people about whom 1 spoke earlier this afternoon who live downstream from the projected settlement of Albury-Wodonga. I will co-operate with the Government and confine my remarks to that. I strongly recommend to the Committee that it support this amendment, which was fore shadowed by the right honourable member for Higgins and which properly belongs to him.







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