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Thursday, 31 October 1996
Page: 4944

Senator COONEY(6.22 p.m.) —We are supporting this amendment, but I ask Senator Murray what effect that will have. The Employment Advocate's function under part VID relating to the approval of AWAs and ancillary documents can only be delegated to a member of the staff referred to in section 83BD. Section 83DB states:

The staff necessary to assist the Employment Advocate are to be persons appointed or employed under the Public Service Act 1922 and made available for the purpose by the Secretary to the Department.

That would seem to be very wide. Indeed, you might have people outside that who are much better equipped. We are supporting this amendment, so it will go through, but I just wonder what the practical effect of that is. It seems to me that you might in fact want to delegate outside, given that you have got a very wide power of delegation within it. Senator Murray, as your amendment reads, you could refer the approval of AWAs to any class of public servant within the Employment Advocate's office. It seems a very interesting situation.