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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3112

Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(11.08) —The Government cannot accept the amendment. Perhaps Senator Macklin will accept an assurance that I can give him. The Committee will be aware that the Repatriation Commission presents an annual report to Parliament which details the activities of the Commission and its associated authorities and bodies. The Chairman of the Commission has indicated that he is prepared to approach the Principal Member of the Veterans' Review Board about providing information and statistics for inclusion in the Repatriation Commission's annual report. This would meet the requirement of providing the Parliament and the community at large with details of the activities of not only the Commission but also the VRB. I think that assurance from the Chairman of the Commission would surely meet the requirement, without necessarily supporting the changes that are suggested in Senator Macklin 's amendment. I am prepared to give that assurance to the Committee. It should meet the point that has been raised by Senator Macklin, because the information he quoted in respect of the Repatriation Review Tribunal is provided by the Repatriation Commission. We therefore indicate that we will apply the same principles and processes in respect of the new determining authority in all of its activities so that the Parliament, the community and in particular the veterans' organisations will be able to judge the success or otherwise-I am sure it will be the success-of the new determining system.

Senator Macklin —Can the Minister say whether the Principal Member of the Veterans' Review Board will be able to have independent comment included in the Commission's report if he feels that is necessary?

Senator GIETZELT —Yes.

Amendment negatived.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.