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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2864

Senator COULTER (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (9.11 p.m.) —I merely point out that both of the amendments are directed to quite different notions. They do not deal with the same notion at all. The Government's amendment ties in with the amendments that were passed earlier. The Opposition's amendment, on the other hand, deals, as the Minister has just said, with the extent to which the Minister may interfere with the functions of the board. They are quite different amendments and perhaps should not be considered together.

  It would be possible, for instance, to pass both amendments—we are in that situation. I indicate that we will be supporting the Government's amendment because it is consequential upon what we have already done. We will be opposing the Opposition's amendment because, like the Government, we believe that in this instance, particularly with the advisory committee that has now been established, the board should be free to get on with the business of doing its proper professional job.

  Amendment agreed to.

  Amendment (by Senator Alston) negatived:

3.Clause 49, pages 17 and 18, line 34 (page 17) to line 8 (page 18), omit the clause, substitute the following clause:

    Minister may direct a variation of a corporate plan

  "49. When the Board prepares or revises a corporate plan and gives a copy of the plan to the Minister, the Minister may, within 60 days after receiving the copy of the plan and after consultation with the Board, direct the Board to vary the plan.".

  Clause, as amended, agreed to.

  Clauses 50 and 51—by leave—taken together, and agreed to.

  Proposed new clause 51A.

  Amendment (by Senator Alston) proposed:

4.After clause 51, page 19, insert the following clause:

      Community Advisory Committee

  "51A. (1) The Board must establish a committee to be known as the Community Advisory Committee.

  "(2) The function of the Community Advisory Committee is to advise the Board on the community consultative measures to be included in each corporate plan of the SBS.

  "(3) Each member of the Community Advisory Committee is to be appointed by the Board.

  "(4) The Board may only appoint a person to the Community Advisory Committee if the Board is satisfied that the person has an understanding of Australia's multicultural society and, in particular, interests relevant to, and an understanding of, ethnic, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.".