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Wednesday, 28 October 1970


Dr PATTERSON (Dawson) (2:39 AM) - I refer specifically to clause 7 which deals with appointments to the Australian Wool Commission. The point I make here is that when the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony) answered my query he said that all members, including the Chairman would be appointed by the Minister for Primary Industry. Why is' that not in the Bill? That is my specific point. The Minister cannot have it both ways. He cannot say that reference to the appointment of the Chairman should not be included in the Bill, because reference is made in the Bill to the appointment of every other member of the Commission. The Bill provides that the appointment of the 2 members to represent Australian wool growers, the member to represent the Commonwealth and the 3 other members of the Commission will be made after consultation with the Australian Wool Industry Conference or the Australian Wool Board. I refer the Minister specifically to his second reading speech in which he said:

The Chairman would be appointed by the Minister after consultation with the Australian Wool Board.

I think he must agree that as he referred to this matter in his second reading speech and as the Bill provides for the appointment of the other members of the Commission after consultation with the AWIC or the Wool Board, to be consistent, reference should be made in the Bill to the appointment of the Chairman of the Commission after consultation. That was the point I was making. I accept the Minister's assurance that the Chairman will be appointed after consultation with the Wool Board, but as the Minister says this in his second reading speech and as reference is made in the Bill to the appointment of the other members of the Commission after consultation with the AWIC or the Wool Board, to be consistent, I think that reference to the appointment of the Chairman after consultation with the Wool Board should be included in the Bill. That is the first point regarding the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Commission.

Great play was made particularly by members of the Australian Country Party of the need to appoint to the Commission men of the best calibre, I cannot help but refer to the almost parrot-like remarks made by the honourable member for Hume (Mr Pettitt). He always makes the remark that members of the Australian Labor Party are not wool growers or wheat growers- or something else. It is a very strange thing. On this type of illogical reasoning the honourable member for Hume would not even entertain appointing to the Commission a man like Sir John Crawford or the members of the Advisory Committee. He would say: They are not wool growers so what would they know about the wool industry?' This is the type of illogical nonsense that we hear from the honourable member for Hume every time he gets up and opens his mouth. But as nobody in the Parliament takes him seriously, it does not really matter what he says. Of course, the honourable member would criticise a man like Sir John Crawford if he were offered part-time or full-time chairmanship of the Commission. He would say: 'What would he know about wool?' This is the kind of illogical nonsense we hear from the honourable member. I have made my main point. Perhaps it is not important but at the same time there is an inconsistency in the Bill regarding the appointment of the Chairman and the members of the Commission. To be consistent, perhaps the Minister might consider writing into the Bill the provision regarding the appointment of the Chairman. I may have missed it, but I could not find any reference to the appointment of the Chairman of the Commission after consultation with the Australian Wool . Board. There has to be consistency.

The other point I make refers to the appointment of the 2 members to represent Australian wool growers. There is a strong argument for the appointment of more members to represent wool growers, but a lot will depend on the 2 members who are picked. This will be the key factor. It does not matter whether two, three or four members are appointed to represent wool growers. A lol will depend on whom the Minister picks, in consultation with the Australian Wool Industry Conference, because there is a very strange mixture of people on this Conference. As I have said in this chamber time and time again, it is not a democratically elected body representing the bona fide woolgrowers of Australia. As I see it, the key question is: Who will be the 2 members to represent the wool growers?

Again I refer to the honourable member for Hume who must violently object to the appointment of the 3 other members of the Commission. After all, they will have more say than the 2 wool growers. Apart from the 2 members to represent the wool growers, there will be one member experienced in finance and economics - he would know a lot about wool; one experienced in the processing of wool - he is not a wool grower either: and one experienced in the marketing of wool. I wonder whether the honourable member for Hume will get. up and criticise those members because they are not wool growers. The point is that there will be a balance on the Commission. But, as I say, the key is: Who will be the 2 members to represent the wool growers? We will all be watching the outcome with great interest. It could be said that these 2 people will really be responsible to the wool growers of Australia and will have to report back to them. These 2 people will hold very responsible positions.







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