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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1645

Mr N.A. Brown(9.08) —I am sorry to delay the Committee on this measure but I simply want to reinforce this point by reference to the obligations that the Parliament has imposed on private employers. I do this because the Minister has just said, with the looseness of language that seems to have been the hallmark of this whole legislation: `Eventually'-that was the word he used-`the Board will report to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister will turn up here and table the report'. We say that eventually is not good enough.

Last year the Government imposed an obligation on private employers under the Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act to lodge their public reports with the Director of Affirmative Action within three months. So within the period to which the report applies, the relevant employer, the private employer, the employer in private enterprise, has to put in his report. No doubt the authorities will be on to him if he does not put his report in within three months. That is the obligation the Government imposes on private employers. The obligation on Commonwealth authorities is to have the report eventually. We say that that is not good enough. If the Government imposes these obligations on private employers with a time limit of three months it should place an equally strong obligation on government authorities and government bodies to report. It is not good enough to say that eventually a report on the implementation of these programs will be put in to this Parliament.

I suggested an alternative way of doing it which, apparently, the Minister has not accepted. I do it again for the record. If the Minister will indicate that there will be an assurance given that all of these public authorities will make a report to the Parliament so that members will know all there is to know about the implementation of these programs, we will let the matter rest there. It is simply a matter of getting that assurance. Either we get that assurance or the Bill should be amended to ensure that there is proper reporting on the part of these authorities.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Remainder of Bill-by leave-taken a whole, and agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.