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Tuesday, 7 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) (1:16 AM) .- I move -

After clause 104, insert the following new clause: - " 104b. The President shall, within sixty days after the end of each year, furnish to the AttorneyGeneral, for presentation to the Parliament, a report with respect to the operations of the Tribunal in that year".

I believe that the Tribunal should report to Parliament. The argument which the Attorney-General has already advanced in a pre-emptive rejection of this amendment astonishes me. I have before me a list of the various bodies, corporations and the like which report annually to Parliament. Included among them is a report by the President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. If I may take hold of the argument put by my honorable friend, it is perfectly true that all discussions before the Arbitration Commission are reported in public documents and are open to public scrutiny. Nevertheless, the President of the Commission does report to Parliament, giving his views on the operations of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act dur ing the year and indicating the strength and weaknesses of the Act. But in this case no opportunity is afforded to the President of the Tribunal to report to Parliament and to say in which way he believes the Act is falling down, where it may be strengthened or the difficulties that he and his fellowmembers of the Tribunal have met. I hope that the Attorney-General and the Government can be persuaded to reflect upon the significance of failing to provide a means whereby the President of this Tribunal, which is vested with tremendous power, may report. I do no more than ask honorable members to contemplate that the Tribunal has no means by which to report to Parliament. This seems to me to represent a significant gap in the fabric of the Bill.

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