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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2433

Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) (Minister for Secondary Industry) - The Government cannot accept this amendment, and again I would suggest to the honourable member for Berowra (Mr Edwards) that there are good reasons for not accepting it. I am reminded of a very basic piece of advice that was given to me years ago when I was a very young barrister practising in Sydney. I was given the job of drawing up the constitution for a certain voluntary organisation. With excess zeal I began to write in provisions for every possible contingency to which I could put my imagination. Of course, the advice I received was: 'Do not waste your time. You are just making things impossible for the club to work'. It was a club with which I was involved. It seems to me that when people try to write into the constitution of an organisation that it shall always conduct itself in this way or that way, that it shall always meet at least once a week or not more than once a month, they buy into trouble. This is the thinking of the Government in relation to this proposition.

The honourable member for Berowra is proposing that meetings shall be held at least once a month and that they can be called in this way or that way. We suggest that therein lies legalism of a sort which is not productive. Given the quality of the men, and possibly the women, who will serve on this Commission, one can surely leave it to their judgment and their discretion as to how often they will have to meet to consider the work that obviously they will have to do. We know that this Commission will be very busy. The extent of the assistance which may be involved was revealed by the Coombs task force report. There can be little doubt, without risk, that the Commission will not meet often enough.

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