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Thursday, 6 March 1980
Page: 611

Senator WRIEDT - My question is again to Senator Carrick. Is it correct that additional appointments have recently been made to the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Council? Is it also correct that the only additional oil company appointee was Mr J. F. Kirk of Esso Australia Ltd, the gentleman to whom I referred in my previous question? Will the Minister explain to the Parliament just what is the role that Mr Kirk plays in the determination of Government energy pricing policy?

Senator CARRICK - Mr Kirkplays no role at all in the determination of Government energy pricing policy. Recently I announced a number of changes to the National Energy Advisory Committee, a body which is set up and structured so that it is widely representative of the whole community, including scientists, experts, industrialists and others. It is a body which objectively looks at applications for research grants and makes recommendations to the Minister on this matter. It is true that one of the persons appointed to NEAC is Mr Kirk, the Managing Director of Esso. He comes to the Committee with an enormous amount of knowledge and experience of the oil industry, both in Australia and abroad.

Opposition Senators interjecting-

Senator CARRICK -I take it from this that the Labor Party would not willingly have a representative -

Senator Walsh - Would not have Mr Kirk as a representative.

Senator CARRICK - Abuse of individuals is in poor taste when those individuals are not here to defend themselves. I take it that the Labor Party is indicating that it would not have a representative of the oil industry on NEAC.

Senator Georges - I rise on a point of order, Mr President. The Minister continually asks the Opposition to give a response. He directs questions to the Opposition and when the Opposition does respond by way of interjection it is then brought to order. I would suggest that the Minister cease to be provocative in the manner that I have described.

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