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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 901

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - Here again the Government will accept the amendment. We think it is an amendment which obviously will not do any harm. It is a futile amendment. The qualifications in the Opposition amendment are cast in such wide terms that it is hard to think of anyone who would be proposed for the position who would not fulfil the qualifications of 'knowledge of or experience in industry, commerce or public administration'. I suppose one can say that even if a person does not have experience in any of these fields he has knowledge of them. It is an absurdity that the legislation should be filled with useless tests like this when one would appreciate that anyone who would come into contemplation would fulfil these qualifications.

One thing that did cross our minds in considering the amendment was whether the amendment was intended to try to keep out people who might have some experience and knowledge of consumer affairs, the people who would be terribly interested in the field. But really, on reflection, one would think that any person who is concerned with consumer affairs would fit into this category. Such a person would have knowledge of or experience in industry or commerce even if not in public administration. So this amendment will not prevent the proper people being appointed to the Commission. It is absolutely obviously useless. But apparently members of the Opposition spend their nights thinking up this kind of proposal. Rather than have an argument about it the Government will not oppose the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 8 to 16- by leave- taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 17.

(   I ) Where a member of the Commission other than the Chairman has or acquires any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any business carried on in Australia, or in any body corporate carrying on any such business, being an interest that could be in conflict with his duties as a member, the member shall, to the best of his knowledge, disclose that interest to the Chairman.

(2)   The Chairman shall give written notice to the Attorney-General of all direct and indirect pecuniary interests that he has or acquires in any business carried on in Australia or in any body corporate carrying on any such business.

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