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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1984

Senator RAE (Tasmania) - In relation to clause 12 certain consequential amendments result from the increase of the size of the Commission from 12 members to 15 members. Clause 12 deals with the meetings of the Commission. It provides:

(   1 ) The Commission shall hold such meetings as are necessary for the performance of its functions.

(2   ) The Minister or the Chairman may at any time convene a meeting of the Commission.

(3)   The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Commission at which he is present.

(4)   If the Chairman is not present at a meeting, the members present shall appoint one of their number to preside at the meeting.

It then goes on, in sub-clauses 5 and 6, 2 provisions with which we wish to concern ourselves. Sub-clause (5 ) provides:

At a meeting of the Commission-

(a)   If the membership of the Commission does not exceed seven- a quorum is constituted by not less than three members; or

(b)   if the membership of the Commission exceeds seven but does not exceed nine- a quorum is constituted by not less than four members; or

(c)   in any other case- a quorum is constituted by not less than five members.

As the Commission will now comprise 15 members, these provisions become redundant. In a moment I shall formally move for the omission of sub-clause 5 relating to the variables depending on the size of the Commission. Sub-clause (6) provides:

For the purposes of sub-section (5), the membership of the Commission shall be deemed not to exceed seven at any time if the number of members, in addition to the Chairman, prescribed for the purposes of sub-section 4(2) at that time does not exceed six.

Again, this is a matter which is relevant if one is not sure how many members there will be on the

Commission. As we now know how many members there will be- that is, 15- we wish to delete both these sub-clauses and to insert a subclause which will provide specifically for the quorum. I therefore move:

Leave out sub-clauses (5) and (6), insert the following subclause:

(5)   At a meeting of the Commission a quorum is constituted by not less than eight members. '.

There being 1 5 members of the Commission, 8 members- just over half of the Commissionwill constitute a quorum. This is a reasonably normal proportion for most such bodies.

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