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Wednesday, 11 November 1964


Senator COLE (Tasmania) (Leader of the Australian Democratic Labour Party) - I wish to support the motion moved by Senator Wright that this Bill be placed before a select committee. I think that we in the Senate are being rather lazy in this matter. I suppose that not more than 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, of honorable senators understand the legislation. Some honorable senators, such as Senator Wright, have done their homework on the measure. We are really proposing to pass a bill that we know very little about. The Bill has been brought forward with the object of stopping people avoiding the taxes they are due to pay. That is a very laudible objective, but because of the complexity of the measure I think that something should be done along the lines that Senator Wright has suggested. Anybody who has listened to Senator Wright's argument this afternoon - I have listened to him all the afternoon, which is quite a change - for the appointment of a select committee, so that this Bill can be studied and a more exact measure introduced, will, I am sure, support the motion.

There is a tremendous lot that we do not know about this Bill. There is a tremendous lot that the people responsible for introducing the Bill do not seem to understand. The Government has delegated too much responsibility to officers of the Public Service. The appointment of a select committee would enable the Senate to fulfil one of the important functions for which it was instituted. I do not think that the functions of this chamber are being utilised to the extent that they should be. Here we have an outstanding instance where the Senate can be used to the great advantage of the people of Australia. Acceptance of the amendment would give us an opportunity to prove that this Senate can play a worthwhile part in the legislative sphere of the Commonwealth. I have much pleasure in supporting the proposal for a select committee.







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