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Thursday, 19 September 1974
Page: 1244

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I rise purely formally because I think that on an occasion like this the matter which Senator Devitt has raised should not pass without some acknowledgment by the Senate of the work of the Committee of which he is Chairman. I have listened intently to the various explanations which Senator Devitt gave. It is quite clear that the work of the Committee is well recognised by the Ministers for whom the various suggestions have been made by the Committee. I think we all acknowledge- this has been part of the bipartisan activity of the Senate for a period of some 40 years- that this Committee has well maintained an oversight of the subordinate legislation of this Parliament.

I think it is fair to say that we in Opposition had our apprehensions as to what the work of the Committee might be after the change of Government took place. I think we draw great comfort from the fact that the work of this Committee in earlier days is being continued and would appear to be continued with the same vigilance as in the past. We compliment Senator Devitt and his Committee on the work which it has been doing. The work of the Committee is not to be measured and never has been measured by the number of occasions on which a resolution for the disallowance of a particular ordinance or regulation is carried by the Senate when a motion is put before it. The work of the Committee has really been assessed in terms of the respect which is accorded to it by Ministers and their departments and in terms of the authority which that Committee can maintain in ensuring that its recommendations are listened to and are put into effect. What Senator Devitt has said this morning indicates that, in respect of the 4 matters in respect of which notices of motion were given, assurances have been received from each of the Ministers that the work of the Committee will be recognised and that changes will be made. I think in this respect Senator Devitt has cause for great satisfaction. One can only regret that this aspect of the Senate's work is not given wider publicity.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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