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Tuesday, 13 December 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - The Honorary Minister (Senator McLachlan) has not convinced me of the necessity for this clause. I have no desire to vest the board with judical authority, but I wish to make it the final authority in the matter of land values.

Senator McLachlan - I said that it is to be, except on questions of law, which may be referred to the court.

Senator NEEDHAM - There are numerous appeal boards associated with many industries in Australia which are the final arbiters in the matter of conditions and wages. The Honorary Minister said that only legal matters will be settled by the Supreme Court or High Court, and he quoted sub-section 6, in which these words appear in respect toa request to refer a case to the court, " so far as it relates to grounds not dealt with by the board." The grounds not dealt with by the board may include some phase of land valuation. I do not see any reason why the taxpayer should have to go to the Supreme Court or the High Court for a settlement of such cases. The law at present stipulates that two courts may be moved by a taxpayer, if he so chooses, after he has appealed to the commissioner. It is here proposed to set up another body, in which I should have the utmost faith; but its value will be nullified if appeals are allowed with respect to valuations to either the Supreme Court or the High Court. For that reason I press the amendment.

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