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Wednesday, 28 October 1970

Mr GRASSBY (Riverina) (3:00 AM) - I wish to speak particularly in support of the amendments proposed to clause 16. Members of the Commission should be above reproach. The Commission will have a great many problems to overcome and it is important that its members be completely above reproach. The 2 amendments we propose are particularly designed to achieve that result. We believe that the

Chairmanand members of the Commission should not be in a policy making or managerial position in firms which could very well be competing with the Commission and its objectives. There is every precedent for this situation. I refer, for example, to recent legislation to set up the Australian Film Development Corporation As my colleague the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Sherry) has just pointed out to me, that legislation contained a suitable precedent to which die Minister might apply himself. In that legislation it was accepted quite definitely that members of the Corporation could not be involved in activities which could come into direct conflict with the stated government objectives for that Corporation.

Therefore we have said that neither the Chairman nor the members of the Commission should be in a policy making or managerial position in any wool broking or wool buying firm in Australia or elsewhere. If they wish to engage in activities which are in competition with those of the Commission they should resign from the Commission. Under our proposed amendment the Minister would have the power to remove them. The second amendment we have proposed is also related to the probity of the Commission. There should not be any qualification in matters of local government. There is a clear position. Either a member has an interest or he has not. If he has an interest, how much interest is not relevant. He must have no interest.

I make a plea to the Minister that he considers the 2 proposed amendments. As the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) said, the Minister should consider them not only in relation to the possible charges that could be levelled against members but also on behalf of the Commission, to ensure that it is above reproach and that the probity of its members is unchallenged. I commend most strongly the 2 amendments that we have proposed.

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