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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 2485

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - T note that the honourable member for Sturt (Mr Foster) wishes to speak. I am not preempting his right to speak.

Mr Foster - Speak up; I cannot hear you.

Mr LYNCH - If the honourable gentleman were to remain silent for more than a few moments, perhaps he might have the opportunity of listening. Several points have been raised in relation to the application and meaning of this section. I believe that it is important to ' make it perfectly clear that this section is not designed to foreshadow any major change - I underline the words 'major change' - from the present legal composition of the level of presidential member. Rather, the Government in looking at this proposal believes that in making appointments to the position of presidential member it should not be restricted to those with legal experience on the simple basis that the Government did not believe - I say this without offence to any of the legal men in this chamber - that lawyers possess any total reservoir of human wisdom in the field of industrial jurisdiction. From time to time there may be such appointments but there is no suggestion of any radical change in the composition of the presidential members.

I also want to place on record, lest there be any misapprehension by any person in this chamber or any person who may have been listening to the debate, that the story related by the honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Clyde Cameron) was purely apocryphal. I will not repeat it now but I think it is important that that should be stated for the record. I also assure the honourable member for Moreton (Mr Killen) that in proposed section 7(1a.)(c) the phrase 'or some other field of study' should be read against the context of the 5 years' tertiary training or comparable educational standard. If it is read in that context it will be seen to be far narrower in interpretation than it may have appeared.

I could not quite understand the point raised by the honourable member for Burke (Mr Keith Johnson) because, after all, this section deals with Deputy Presidents and I would have thought that the honourable member was talking almost solely about the position of conciliators or of conciliation commissioners under the new terms of the Bill. If I have misinterpreted the comments that he made I would of course be happy to explain the provision in some detail. In relation to the point raised by the honourable member for Corio (Mr Scholes) the phrase "standing in the Australian community' is, I think, selfevident. I would be very surprised if the honourable gentleman cannot understand that phrase because the position of Deputy President is one of some considerable responsibility in the Australian community. If one refers to a position of standing, one is referring to the .person's position in the community - to a person of repute and of capacity and one who is well and favourably known throughout the community. Frankly, I would have thought that that phrase would not have required any elaborate amplification. I think my comments have covered the various points which have been raised by honourable members.

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