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Wednesday, 25 November 1959


Omit paragraph (b), insert the following paragraph: - " (b) by adding at the end thereof the following sub-section: - (2.) After any person affected by any determination of the Commissioner has appealed against the determination, the Commissioner shall not, without the consent of the person affected, alter, amend or revoke the determination.'.".

As I explained during my second-reading speech, this amendment is necessary if we are to stop what has become a practice, in some cases, of the commissioner altering his determination after the employee has gone to the expense of briefing counsel for the purpose of appealing to a court against that determination. All that the commissioner has to do, without any cost to himself, having been notified of an appeal in train, is simply to change the determination, usually by increasing it to a slightly higher amount, but an amount still lower than that which the employee considered proper. In that case, the employee is faced with the proposition either of accepting the slightly higher amount determined by the commissioner in his second bite at the cherry, or of going to the expense of preparing a second appeal, this time against the second determination.

I believe that where the commissioner makes a determination, that determination should stand unless the employee affected by it gives his consent to an amendment of it. Unless that position is accepted, the employee is in the invidious position of finding himself faced with the expense of litigation in trying to have an appeal determined by a court, knowing all the time that before the matter is disposed of by the court the commissioner can circumvent the whole proceedings by, on his own motion, altering his original determination, so that the appeal which was perhaps prepared at great expense by the employee, is of course of no further use in those particular proceedings.

Mr Ward - That is reasonable. The Minister will no doubt accept the amendment.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - In that case, I shall say no more.

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