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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2432

Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) (Minister for Secondary Industry) - The Government cannot accept this amendment. I suggest with great respect to the honourable member for Berowra (Mr Edwards), because we are, as he knows, accepting many of his propositions in the Committee stage of the debate on this Bill, that on reflection he will come to the view that the words as far as practicable' are reasonable. After all, these Commissioners could be in any part of the country. The powers of the Chairman in this sense are only to convene meetings of the Commission and to determine the form of the records. That is the limitation. There might well be many occasions when, because one Commissioner is in Melbourne and another in some other part of Australia, it would be not practicable to make it a mandatory requirement that every one of them be consulted when the question concerned relates only to the matter of calling a meeting together or determining certain records of previous meetings. The Government is very anxious and determined to ensure that the Commission is a body which will give proper assistance and expertise to Australian industry, as its name suggests, and therefore it has to be a practical working body. If those words are deleted there would be a slight risk, although perhaps not a real one, that it might not be so practical. Of course, one appreciates that in normal activities the Chairman will consult with his colleagues. We know that and we expect it. To write in that he must do these things might well make the whole thing unworkable.

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