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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3101

Senator PETER RAE(9.37) —My colleague Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle referred to the fact that it is possible to put through with expedition legislation which is not controversial. I wish to show that not only does that apply in relation to the non-controversial Commonwealth Banks Amendment Bill 1984 but that it also applies to the non-controversial Weights and Measures ( National Standards) Amendment Bill 1984, the purpose of which is to update the hierarchy of standards of physical measurement in accordance with modern practice and to put down a clear definition of the functions and powers of the National Standards Commission. The Commission is responsible for establishing and co-ordinating the use in Australia of a uniform system of units and standards of measurement of physical quantities and for approving the pattern of measuring instruments for use in trade to ensure accuracy and reliability in service. Trade measuring devices presented for patent approval have increased in complexity and are often integrated with other devices, such as computers.

The purpose of the National Standards Commission has become more complex and important. The Bill also provides for transfer to the Commission of responsibility for any residual metric conversion activities, for instance, in aviation, and will repeal the Metric Conversion Act of 1970. The Opposition supports the Bill.