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Friday, 1 September 1989
Page: 794

Senator PETER BAUME(10.51) —I will attempt to answer Senator Coulter. His initial question led me to suggest that we might want to modify proposed new subsection (3). It could be changed to read:

Directions prepared under subsection (1) must be submitted to the Minister for approval.

We would then go on to say:

If the Minister does not approve these directions the Commission shall prepare an alternative set.

I am suggesting that if the Minister wants to take that course, he should notify the Parliament. If Senator Coulter is saying that the Commission could not operate if it thumbed its nose at government which, after all, is responsible through the Parliament to the people, I think he makes a valid point. If he wishes us to amend the words in the manner I am suggesting to him, we would not be resistant to that suggestion. I need to know what he thinks is an appropriate resolution of the matter. If he wants to say `Directions prepared under subsection (1) must be submitted to the Minister for approval' and then wants us to go on and add `In the event that the Minister does not approve them, further directions must be prepared and submitted but the Minister shall notify the Parliament', I would be prepared to try to draft some words to meet that intention and to present them as an alternative.