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Wednesday, 28 October 1970

Dr GUN (Kingston) (3:41 AM) - The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony) neglected to answer one point that 1 made during the second reading debate which seems to be pretty fundamental to the whole scheme. This is concerned with clause 21 (b), which states that the Commission can 'buy wool at auction or otherwise'. It seems to me that this means that the Commission can do just about anything. We are not quarrelling with this, but, as I mentioned before, we do quarrel with the fact, as interpreted by the Minister in his second reading speech, that it is always necessary to provide wool selling brokers as intermediaries when the Commission purchases wool through the auction system. It seems to me that we have now reached the situation where the Commission could find itself in the position of a private buyer. In other words, it could go on to the property of the grower and purchase wool there. In that case it would be operating as a private wool selling broker.

Perhaps it could be interpreted in another way, but clause 18 (1.) (g) provides that one of the functions of the

Commission is 'to make arrangements for the sale, otherwise than at auction, of wool received by a broker for sale at auction . . .'. In other words, the Commission can go to a broker and say: This lot is no good. We will not put this on auction. The Commission has decided it will dispose of it in some other way.' Surely if that contingency were to be covered, it would be mentioned in section 21 (b). In other words, it seems to me that the Commission is being given plenary powers. We do not quarrel with this. It is the sort of thing that we would like to be done. We believe the Commission should move in on the business and operate for the growers and squeeze the wool . selling brokers out altogether. But I wonder whether the Minister could make this clear. We would like to see this operating. No doubt what the Commission will actually do within the framework of the legislation will depend on the personnel appointed to operate the Commission. However, I think the Committee should know whether this is the intention of those 2 extra words 'or otherwise'.

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