Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 27 November 1935

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia.) . - I consider that there is definitely something of importance in the point taken by Senator Leckie. I preferred this clause in the form in which it left the Senate last week. Perhaps no very great principle is involved, but this complicated amendment means, in effect, that four out of the eighteen members of the Meat Export Control Board will, after the first nominees have ceased to hold office be nominated by the State governments. No provision whatever appears to have been made to ensure that such persons shall have any knowledge of the meat industry. A completely new method is introduced with regard to any individuals who may be appointed under the different sub-clauses of clause 5. Of the probable eighteen members of the board, some will represent the stock producers of the States, the Northern Territory, and the southern Riverina, the pig producers, the meat-exporting companies of each State, and co-operative organizations which export mutton and lamb ; four will represent publicly-owned abattoirs and freezing works - the portion with which we aye dealing now - and one member will represent the Commonwealth Government. This measure does not require .the representative of the Commonwealth Government to have any particular affiliation with the meat trade; in fact, he is the only one of the eighteen who is not required to be associated with the industry. We assume, of course, that the Government will naturally appoint an expert on meat, and it may be claimed that it is reasonable to imagine that the States will act similarly.

The committee ought to consider the effect of these amendments, which, if adopted, will extend to a number of persons for whom no qualifications are provided, and who may not be in any way associated with the meat industry, the right to sit on the board. I do not think that that is desirable. I believe that the clause as it left this chamber was more acceptable than the form which is now proposed, as, for instance, it gave the Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board in South Australia, which is an independent government instrumentality, the power to nominate a representative. It may be thought desirable to place other nominees on a similar footing; but there is no guarantee that the persons nominated by State governments shall be directly associated with the meat industry.

Senator Abbott - Does not sub-clause 3 of clause 5 cover the whole clause?

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - The proposed amendment will affect that provision.

Senator Abbott - Does not that subclause still govern the personnel ?

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - Certainly; but there is no assurance that the successors or substitutes appointed will be associated with the industry. Like Senator Leckie, I have some doubt as to the desirableness of States having the power to nominate particularly as the persons appointed may not be associated with the industry. A person nominated by a State government would doubtless be a meat expert ; but is there any reason why it should not be specified in the act?

Suggest corrections