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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 909

Senator GUILFOYLE (VICTORIA) - In view of the appointment of Mr Justice Kerr as Chief Justice of New South Wales, will the Minister for Health advise whether there will be lack of continuity in the New

South Wales medical fees inquiry and whether the timetables for submissions already established will be delayed?


I recall that I made a statement in the Senate announcing the appointment of Mr Justice Kerr to conduct an inquiry concerning items 1 and 4 of the schedule in respect of general practitioners in New South Wales. After holding a preliminary meeting Mr Justice Kerr was appointed by the New South Wales Government as Chief Justice Designate of that State. Consequently Mr Justice Mason was appointed to take over the inquiry from Mr Justice Kerr. There will be no break in continuity. I, as Minister for Health, was involved at short notice and had to do certain things. I am very happy to be able to say that we were able to appoint Mr Justice Mason to take over the inquiry. Mr Justice Mason yesterday held the second meeting of the inquiry, on the day on which Mr Justice Kerr would have held his second meeting. I am not completely sure of that, but I think that was the timing planned by Mr Justice Kerr-

I do not anticipate any delay in Mr Justice Mason's taking any evidence that he wishes to take, interviewing witnesses he wishes to hear and making a report to the Government. There may be a variation of a day or two but, in general, I do not anticipate any significant alteration of the timing from the original proposal for Mr Justice Kerr to report to the Government at the end of April. I know that Mr Justice Mason will be doing everything possible to get his report to the Government as quickly as possible.

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