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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 841


Mr SPENDER(1.13 a.m.) —In that event I ask the Minister why, if he is so interested in pluralism, he does not apply the principle of pluralism to section 80. Section 80 (3), as I have pointed out, states:

The members of each Committee shall be appointed by the Minister and four of them shall be so appointed after consultation by the Minister with the Australian Medical Association.

Apparently pluralism is not necessary in section 80 or when one is dealing, as that section deals, with the appointment of a Medical Services Committee of Inquiry. But somehow the sacred concept of pluralism creeps into the appointment of a medical benefits advisory committee. The Minister has not answered the question and he has-no doubt unintentionally-not correctly described the operation of section 66. That section in its present form specifically casts an obligation on him to consult with the AMA about the appointment of four medical practitioners to the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee. In view of his explanation I ask: Why does pluralism apply in one part of the Act and not in another part? Will he please come clean on the subject?