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Thursday, 11 June 1970


Dr FORBES (Barker) (Minister for Health) - I move:

That the amendment No. 10 be disagreed to, but that, in place thereof, the following sub-clause be added to clause 25 of the Bill: (2.) Section seventy-three of the. Principal Act is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following sub-sections: "(7.) Where the Minister grants an application for registration of an organisation, he shall, within one month after he has so granted the application, publish in the Gazette a notification to that effect setting out -

(a)   the name of the organisation;

(b)   the name of the State or Territory to which the registration relates;

(c)   the date of registration;.

(d)   the fact that the registration is subject to the conditions set out in section seventythree B of this Act; and '

(e)   if the grant is subject to any other terms or conditions - those other terms and conditions. "(8.) Where the Minister refuses an application for registration, of an organisation, he shall, within one month after he has so refused the applica-' tion, publish in the Gazette a notification of the refusal. "(9.) Where the Minister takes action in pursuance of sub-section (6.) of this section in relation to an organisation, he shall, within one month after so taking action, publish in the Gazette a notification, setting out -

(a)   the name of the organisation;

(b)   particulars of the action so taken, including

(i)   where a term or condition has been varied - the term or condition as so varied;

(ii)   where a term or condition has been revoked - the term or condition so revoked; or

(iii)   where a term or condition has been added - the term or condition so added; and

(c)   the date on which the action was taken.".'.

This amendment is directed to section 73 of the principal Act which deals with the registration of medical and hospital benefits organisations. It provides, firstly, for the Minister to grant registration subject to such terms and conditions as he thinks fit or refuse registration after considering a report of the Registration Committee as set out under section 70. Secondly it provides for the Minister to revoke or vary the terms and conditions of registration, and, thirdly, for a register of organisations to be maintained and not be open for inspection except by a person authorised by the Minis ter. The amendment is directed to 3 different aspects of this particular section. Firstly, it provides for registration or refusal of registration to be by regulation and, secondly, for the register of hospital and medical benefits organisations to be open for public inspection, and thirdly, in line with the first point, to provide for variation of the terms and condition of registration to be by regulation. In moving the amendment the other place had in mind that the machinery connected with the registration of organisations should include provision for parliamentary and public scrutiny of the Minister's action. Although it is the Government's view that the registration of organisations should be viewed as a normal administrative process, and therefore legislative processes are not appropriate, the Government has no reason not to make the Minister's actions in regard to the registration of organisations open to public scrutiny. It is felt that the use of regulations as proposed by the other place is inappropriate and in lieu thereof I have moved a further amendment on behalf of the Government proposing that provision be made for notification in the 'Gazette' of (a) the new registration of organisations together with the terms and conditions that the Minister imposes on them; (b) refusals to register organisations; and (c) the variations that are made to the terms and conditions applicable to organisations. I believe that such a provision will meet more appropriately the objectives sought by the Senate amendment.







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