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Thursday, 7 July 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I move -

That after the word "persons," line 3, the following words be inserted: - "one of whom shall be selected from persons in the Public Service, nominated by the Public Service organizations."

The object of the amendment is to provide that on the Board of Commissioners there shall be. a direct representative of the public servants, selected by the GovernorGeneral from a number of. persons to be nominated by the Public Service organizations. I wish to impress upon honorable senators the desirability of doing all we can to make the Public Service of the Commonwealth as effective, in the interests of the taxpayers, as possible. In order to makeit effective it must be a contented Service. If we give the public servants direct representation on the Board of Management, we shall be in a position to say to the members of that large body of employees that, to a very great extent, it will be in their own hands to make the Service effective and contented. The representation I suggest will be only a minority representation, but the direct representative of the public servants should be able to. do very fine work in conjunction with the other members of the Board. He would no doubtbe selected for his merits and experience, and his ex-: perience should be invaluable to the Board in enabling it to arrive at reasonable con-; elusions on all matters affecting the administration and effective control of the various Departments, The proposal is- not new, because in many large business concerns provision is made for admission to the boards of management controlling details of theiroperations of representatives of the employees engaged in them.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable senator propose that the representative of the employees should be selected by the whole of the Service.

Senator PAYNE - No, by the Public Service organizations. I should leave it to the organizations to make any arrangements they consider necessary to ascertain the feeling of. the individual members of the Service. However, that is merely a detail.


Senator PAYNE - I am afraid that Senator Thomas does not agree with me. Honorable senators will have an opportunity of discussing the whole matter on my amendment. It proposes an innovation, so far as the management of the Public Service in Australia is concerned. I am anxious that it should be fully discussed. I, personally, feel that if the proposal is adopted it will go a long way to bring about the result we all desire, namely, an effective and contented Public Service.

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