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Tuesday, 15 May 1973
Page: 2059

Mr DRURY (RYAN, QUEENSLAND) - I ask the Acting AttorneyGeneral whether the Government has considered the report of the Bland Committee concerning the appointment of an official to review administrative decisions and to inquire into public grievances - in other words, a Federal ombudsman? If so, can the Minister indicate whether an early decision may be expected?

Mr ENDERBY (Minister for the Northern Territory) - The report has been considered. A number of reports on that subject have been made known in recent years. The Australian National University has been very prominent in the field through Professor Whitmore, as has Mr Justice Kerr of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The whole matter is under consideration. It is part of our policy, if I may put it that way, that an ombudsman be brought into being to take care of the difficulties that arise from administrative decisions which can have such an enormous effect on the lives of people generally and in particular of people Mho live in cities like Canberra which have such a high component of decisions made by the Public Service. It is obviously an area of increasing concern. It is a challenging area and is high on the Government's list of priorities.

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