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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3604

Mr LUCOCK (Lyne) -by leave-The Third Australasian Parliamentary Seminar was attended by 24 delegates from 19 branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in South-East Asia and the Australasian regions. It was conducted in September this year in Parliament House, Sydney; Parliament House, Canberra; the Town Hall, Townsville; and Parliament House, Brisbane. Excluding the delegates themselves there were some 67 principal speakers and panel members, ranging from Presiding Officers to Ministers of the Crown, to academics, to local government authorities, heads of statutory authorities, the Permanent Heads of executive departments, private members of Parliament and members of parliamentary staffs and members of the Press. The formal discussions ranged the whole gamut of Parliament and government including local government, practice and procedure, the administrative organisation of Parliament and Parliament's relations with the media, but equally with the formal discussions there was a healthy informal exchange of information and views, and I can assure honourable members that the flow was two-way.

Australasian parliamentary seminars are becoming a familiar part of the parliamentary scene in this area, but honourable members will know that they do not just happen. They are sponsored and financed by the Australian Commonwealth and State branches and the New Zealand branch of the Association. They are organised by officers and officials of the Commonwealth and State parliaments, and their success depends absolutely upon the assistance and co-operation of the members of the Australian parliaments and local government authorities, and upon the good will of various community organisations and interests.

In presenting this report, I should, on behalf of the sponsoring branches, like to acknowledge the debt we owe to the Presiding Officers and various Ministers of the New South Wales and Queensland Parliaments; to His Worship the Mayor of Townsville, Alderman Percy Tucker and his staff; to Professor Aitkin of Macquarie University; to the senior officers of the executive departments who gave freely of their time, particularly Mr Lawler, Mr Yeend, Mr Comans and the Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Mr White; to Sir Charles Barton, the Co-Ordinator-General of Works in Queensland; and certainly not least to members of this Parliament and to good friends of the Parliament in the Parliamentary Press Gallery particularly Mr Randall, the President; Mr Allan Barnes of the Melbourne Age; and Mr Ken Begg of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I think that the report speaks for itself. Copies have been placed in the Parliamentary Library and are available from the Bills and Papers Office and I commend the report to all honourable members. As, in these days, a need exists for a closer association of all countries, particularly those in this area, I believe that these seminars are of great importance and will attain greater importance in the years ahead.

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