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Tuesday, 7 December 1965


Mr KILLEN (Moreton) . - I move -

In sub-clause (1.), omit "as it thinks proper".

Under clause 52, as it presently stands, it is competent for the Tribunal to make such orders for enforcing its determination as it thinks proper. This is too wide altogether. I refer to the argument that I have propounded throughout the entire debate: Where Parliament hands over to an administrative sub-legislative quasi-judicial body these tremendous discretions and it is not prepared to fetter the body in any shape or form, then we should not moan when it hits. So far as the orders of the Tribunal are concerned, here this means nothing more nor less than this: If the Tribunal takes the view that it should enforce a determination, say, relating to monopolisation - for example, the Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. may be selling 16 gauge steel at £80 per ton and the Tribunal may say that the price should be brought down to £50 per ton - then that is an order which it thinks proper and that is the end of it. There is no appeal. The order is not readily susceptible of control by the High Court of Australia. This is at the very centre of the argument I propounded. I have been unable, to date, to persuade the Attorney-General or the Government to accept some restraint as regards this discretion; but surely the Government could see its way clear to providing that at least the orders that the Tribunal makes should have some relevance to the matter before it. But as the clause stands at the moment it will be, in my respectful submission, quite open to the tribunal to say: "Well, the sandy haired sales manager of the company must be sacked; this is part of our order." There is no knowing where an order of the tribunal may take it.

It is all very well to say that the people comprising the Tribunal are as pure as the driven snow and that they are not going to do anything irresponsible. My submission is that the Parliament should not lend itself to approving of any discretion which is not immediately controllable by the courts or answerable to the Parliament. That is the argument I have with respect to amendment No. 17. I will not delay the Committee by repeating it in relation to the other amendments, Nos. 18, 19 and 20, which I have circulated. The same philosophy holds good. It may be despised tonight but I venture the view that there will yet come a day when the people of this country will be prepared to return to it.







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