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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3162


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(1.48) —The Government opposes the Opposition's amendments. I think Senator Puplick knows the reasons, being an avid reader of the House of Representatives Hansard. Briefly, they are that the amendments would, as he knows, remove control of the scheme from the hands of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment and the committee responsible for administering it. The Public Lending Rights Committee will be specifically constituted. It will be a broad-based committee, widely representative of the literary community; therefore there will be a considerable amount of accountability there. If we have parliamentary disallowance of the rates, we have the situation that the Parliament passes the Budget in which the rates are set and then the Parliament later has the power to disallow those rates. We do not think that is a very wise course. For those and other more explicit and better expressed reasons, the Government opposes the amendments.