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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2436

Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) (Minister for Secondary Industry) - As I have said several times already, the Government sees this measure as being of great importance to industry and to Australia as a whole by bringing out into the light those decisions which so greatly affect Australians - decisions involving the expenditure of the taxpayers' money - so that they can assess whether the money is being spent in the right way. I think that the Government is as aware as the Opposition and anyone else of the dangers of a large bureaucracy. This is one of the features of modern living. The Government is concerned about it. There is no suggestion in the legislation of anything of that nature emerging. Indeed, this Commission is, in many ways, only an improved form of the Tariff Board. At this stage anyway one has to rely on the quality of the men who comprise it. Naturally, it is the Government's intention that the departments would offer as much informaion as possible in their areas of expertise, in the way in which the honourable member for Berowra (Mr Edwards) described it. That would be only natural and proper. The Government certainly hopes that that would be so. The Government is quite confident that it would be so. It seems to me that there is nothing calling for an amendment at this stage. In legislation like this, one has to watch to see how it is working. Such legislation may be improved as time goes by. I remind honourable members that clause 21 provides that inquiries will be held in accordance with the Act. That expression is repeated on 2 occasions. The Act is pretty specific and pretty particular.

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