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Thursday, 11 May 1989
Page: 2252

Senator MACKLIN(10.56) —by leave-In respect of the Australian Securities Commission Bill I move:

(5) Page 8, after subclause 11 (2), insert the following new subclause:

``(2a) The Commission may, on its own initiative or when requested by the Minister, advise the Minister, and make to the Minister such recommendations as it thinks fit, about any matter of a kind referred to in section 148.''.

(6) Page 9, subclause 11 (4), line 1, leave out ``subsection (3),'', insert ``subsection (2a) or (3),''.

This was a matter of continuing discussion yesterday. Our drafting differed somewhat from that on which the Government had advice. We were happy to concede to the Government's drafting in this matter in that it was more elegant than our own. However, the intent is the same-that is, that the Commission would be provided with power to make recommendations to the Minister but it would not be obliged to do so. In other words, there is no intent in this amendment to require the Commission to spend any money or consider it part of its statutory functions to have to make recommendations. This amendment would provide the Commission with the ability to make a recommendation if it wanted to do so. At the lowest level that makes clear what the Commission wants-that is, to have the ability to talk to the Minister about some matter that it may feel deeply about without necessarily going to the Advisory Committee. It seems to us that there are no problems with that. This amendment addresses the problem that the Government put up-that the Commission would have to spend money analysing policy which, quite rightly, is the function of the Advisory Committee. We do not want the Commission to be doing that. Clearly, the intent of this amendment is merely to allow the Commission, if it wishes, to speak to the Minister about a matter without going to the Advisory Committee. We believe that it is not likely that this would occur frequently, particularly because of the Government's intention to put a member of the Commission on the Advisory Committee. We certainly endorse that second position of the Minister, and we feel that this would fill out the powers of the Commission. We see no sensible reason why the Commission, if it feels deeply about some matter, should not be able to talk directly to the Minister or give advice and direction to the Minister on any matter that it desires under section 148.