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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1917


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - This proposed amendment refers to the elimination of the general power of delegation of powers or functions to anyone other than a member of the Australian Film Commission. Clause 13 (1) states:

The Commission may, by writing under its seal, delegate to a member of the Commission or to a member of the staff of the Commission, either generally or otherwise as provided by the instrument of delegation, any of its powers or functions under this Act, other than this power of delegation.

As I understand it, the Opposition seeks to delete the words 'or to a member of the staff of the Commission' and to insert in lieu thereof 'with the approval of the Minister'. Clause 13(1) would then read:

The Commission may, by writing under its seal, delegate to a member of the Commission with the approval of the Minister, either generally or otherwise as provided by the instrument of delegation, any of its powers or functions under this Act, other than this power of delegation.

Paradoxically, in this case the Opposition seems to seek to insert ministerial power of approval. It is difficult for me to see why it is desirable to insert ministerial approval in an instance of this nature when apparently it is considered undesirable in every other area.


Senator Greenwood - You do yourself an injustice by saying that.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I do not know. In fact, it appears rather extraordinary that the Opposition should suggest that in the Commission's day to day operations, the very area in which delegated powers are most commonly required- Senator Greenwood has had a lot of opposition to voice in regard to ministerial approval in this area- the Minister should be required to exercise some sort of discretionary or approval power in relation to the delegation of power.


Senator Steele Hall - I would take it before they catch up with it.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I am tempted to do that. I am pointing out what the Opposition is doing. To me, it is quite paradoxical. The effect of this amendment would be to ensure that the Minister could pick and choose which of the commissioners- presumably, his favourite- could exercise the delegated power.

The Commission may have good administrative reasons to ask another member to exercise those powers. If the Opposition wishes to press that amendment, I will not object to it.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 14 agreed to.

Clauses 15 to 19- by leave- taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 20.

A person having a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a business or other undertaking involving the making, promotion, distribution or exhibition of films, otherwise than as a member, and in common with the other members, of an incorporated company consisting of not less than 25 persons, is not eligible-

(a)   to be appointed under section 14 as, or to remain, a full-time member; or

(b)   to be appointed under section 19 to act, or to continue to act, in the place of the Chairman or another full-time member.







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