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Wednesday, 1 November 1967

Mr CONNOR (Cunningham) (12:43 PM) - The Opposition is opposed to this clause also, and for good reason. We find - and we have yet to hear the Government's explanation - that there has been a switch in the administration of this measure. If any Minister is to administer the Act it should be the Minister for National Development (Mr Fairbairn). He is the gentleman who has claimed for this Government credit for the tremendous mineral development that has taken place in Australia. According to his story, tremendous wealth is pouring into Australia, and we should praise the Government from whom all blessings flow. The Minister claims that the Government has been responsible for the remarkable discoveries that have been made in the field of minerals during its term of office. Does the Minister for National Development suggest that the Minister for Territories (Mr Barnes) is more capable of administering this legislation than he is or is there another and very different reason for this arrangement? The Minister for National Development has been in all the negotiations for this measure. He has been in all the dealings that have taken place and alt the conferences of State Attorneys-General and State Ministers for Mines who are his counterparts. Now, the

Minister for Territories who, in terms of knowledge of this legislation is a tyro, is to come into the field and take over from him to administer this legislation. This is a Bill in respect which the Minister for National Development in his second reading speech said that the Government was moving along experimentally and that it had not finalised the regulations. In fact, the Government had to confer at some length and in great detail with its good friends the mineral companies as to the final form in which the regulations would be crystallised and the guidelines under which this Bill would be finally administered. All of these matters are to be turned over to the Minister for Territories. Mr Chairman, could we have a little silence from the magpies opposite?

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