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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2450


Mr EDWARDS (Berowra) - I seek leave of the Committee to incorporate in Hansard the remaining amendments which stand in my name.


The CHAIRMAN - There being no objection, leave is granted for the remaining amendments to be incorporated in Hansard. (The amendments read as follows) -

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(6) Clause 23, page 10, line 27, after the word " industry ", insert the following words: " or to a particular group or groups of primary or secondary industries ".

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(7) Clause 23, page 11, sub-clause (4), paragraphs (f), (g) and (h), omit the words " twelve months " (wherever occurring), substitute the following words: " two years ".

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(8) Clause 24, page 12, line 21, omit the words " six years ", substitute the following words: " ten years ".

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(9) Clause 25, page 13, omit the clause, substitute the following clause: " 25, (1) There shall be a Temporary Assistance Authority comprising not more than three persons appointed by the Governor-General on a full-time or on a part-time basis as appropriate. " (2) Members of the Temporary Assistance Authority shall hold office under such terms and conditions as the Governor-General determines.". (Consequential on amendment (9) being agreed to the following amendments will be moved)

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(10) Clause 26, page 13, lines 24 and 25, omit the words " he may request the Chairman to nominate a Commissioner ", substitute the following words: " he may request the Temporary Assistance Authority ".

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(11) Clause 27, pages 13 and 14, omit the clause, substitute the following clause: " 27. (1) Upon receipt of a request under section 26, the Temporary Assistance Authority shall forthwith undertake the inquiry. " (2) The Temporary Assistance Authority undertaking an inquiry under this section in relation to any goods shall conduct the inquiry in such manner as it thinks fit.".

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(12) Clause 28, page 14, omit the word " Commissioner " (wherever occurring), substitute the following words: " Temporary Assistance Authority ".

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(13) Clause 29, page 14, omit the word "Commissioner " (wherever occurring), substitute the following words: " Temporary Assistance Authority ".

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(14) Clause 30, page 15, line 9, omit the word " Commissioner ", substitute the following words: " Temporary Assistance Authority ".

The first of these amendments endeavours to clear up an ambiguity which arises in the tortuous language in this Bill, to accommodate the divergent views within the government as to whether the reference to the Commission should be mandatory or otherwise. It appeared clear to us that out of all this it would be possible that where industry A, B or C were separately referable to the Commission or where questions relating to assistance to those industries were separately referable to the Commission this mandatory requirement for public scrutiny on which the Government says it sets such store, could be put aside by a device of referring references of industries A, B or C to the Commission together.

This is the essence of the amendment proposed to clause 23: That after the word 'industry' the words 'or to a particular group or groups of primary or secondary industries' be inserted. We propose a further amendment to clause 23, an amendment to clause 24 and a major amendment to clause 25. In the latter part of my speech on the second reading of this Bill I referred to the importance of making provisions for consideration of questions of emergency or of temporary protection in a context different from the Commission. I stressed that in this situation two different purposes have to be considered. We have in this situation 2 different contexts. One is the long term trends in productivity, technology and relative exchange rates. That is the proper context for the expertise of the Commission. Another, and different context is that of day to day commercial rivalry, not to say in some cases skulduggery. In this respect we have therefore 2 different contexts and by this amendment we propose that 2 separate bodies should consider them.

Therefore, as I said, we have different contexts and a different focus. We have the long term focus, which is the proper province of the Commission, versus the short term focus which relates to the problem of affording temporary or emergency protection. We have 2 different requirements as to speed. One case requires deliberative in-depth analysis and much judgment on the long term matters to which I referred. On the other hand we have a requirement for judgment of a different kind, an appreciation of the sort of commercial factors and short term problems arising for an industry - problems that need to be handled in an administrative sense. Mr Chairman, 1 have endeavoured, in the spirit of the occasion, to cover this matter quickly. I stress that there should be what I have referred to as the Temporary Assistance Authority which should work within the general policies of the Government and the view by the Commission of them but nevertheless separate from the Commission.

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I indicate that the Government accepts those amendments circulated in the name of the honourable member for Berowra, which are amendments Nos 8 and 9 relating to clause 23. I also formally refer to the Government's proposed amendment, relating to clause 23 (5), which simply aims at tidying up one aspect that can be tidied up and improved. So that vetting of rural industries by the Commission can be phased in during the transitional period, we seek to insert after the word 'paragraph' the words 'or occurred before the commencement of this Act'.


Mr Edwards - What is the amendment proposed by the Government?


Mr ENDERBY - I am referrering to the Government's proposed amendment to clause 23 (5).







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