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Friday, 16 August 1974
Page: 1081

Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I think there is a complete misunderstanding about what sub-clause (6) provides. Clause5 deals with the provision of moneys to be allocated for approved projects. Clause 4 sets out in detail what are to be considered to be approved projects and under this legislation the Commonwealth will finance only approved projects. Subclause (6) makes provision for local government bodies to purchase machinery with Commonwealth finance. If sub-clause (6) is deleted this machinery will not be considered to be an approved project for road-making purposes and Commonwealth assistance cannot be given.

Senator Sir Magnus Cormack - It is a trap clause.

Senator CAVANAGH -No, it is not. I think that the honourable senator has demonstrated that his knowledge of local government is superior to his knowledge of the interpretation of an Act.

Senator Sir Magnus Cormack - I have been sitting here for 20 years and I have seen many funny things in Bills and Acts.

Senator CAVANAGH -It is a question of what you have learnt from sitting here for 20 years. That is what counts.

Senator Sir Magnus Cormack - Well, wellthis is Satan rebuking sin.

The CHAIRMAN - I think it may be as well if we confine our discussion to the sub-clause.

Senator CAVANAGH - I was provoked by an interjection. Sub-clause (6) states:

A reference in this section to a project by way of the construction, or of the construction and maintenance, of roads of a particular kind includes a reference to the purchase of road making plant to be used in the construction, or construction and maintenance . . .

If this sub-clause is deleted, any project covered by it will not be regarded by the Australian Government as an approved project. If it is the Opposition's intention to deprive local governments of that assistance -

Sir Magnus Cormack - No; that is blackmail.

Senator CAVANAGH - Well that is the only interpretation that one can put on the sub-clause.

Whether it is blackmail or not, that is the intention of the sub-clause. The deletion of the subclause would not have the effect which the Opposition hopes to achieve. As I have said, the Opposition has put a false interpretation on this subclause. Rather than seeking to delete the clause it should be supporting its retention.

Amendment negatived.

Sub-clause 9.

(9)   A Minister may-

(a)   approve a variation of a program of projects ap- proved by him; (b) approve a variation of particuars of a project approved by him; and

(c)   revoke an approval of particulars of a project approved by him.

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