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Thursday, 2 November 1967

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I wish to commentbriefly on the final remarks of the Minister because they seem to me to be very important. It may well be that later on we can amend this legislation. Personally, I do not think so. I think it will be found to be almost impossibl to get unanimous agreement between the State and Commonwealth governments on matters of substance. Perhaps on matters of detail some changes may be agreed, but I do not think that on matters of substance changes will be unanimously agreed. Generally there will be one recalcitrant State. Under the terms of the agreement a recalcitrant State is given power analogous to the right of veto in the Security Council - a kind of paralysing veto. I will put it in rhyme:

If seven men with seven Acts

Debated half a year

Do you suppose' the Caucus said

They'd get amendments clear?"

I doubt it' said the Minister

And shed a bitter tear.

I present my rhyme with apologies to the Walrus and the Carpenter. I am not putting the Minister quite in the category of the Carpenter. Perhaps he will understand what I mean. I did not get a reply from the Minister on the very interesting little point I raised as to why the word 'permit' was omitted from clause 94(b).

Mr Fairbairn - I will see that the honourable member receives a reply.

Mr WENTWORTH - I am worried about this Bill. I do not think that in its present form with its present framework it does justice to our natural resources. I do not think it is designed to give us the maximum results. Now it is virtually out of the hands of this House, unless the Senate sees fit to amend it.

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