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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 3940

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I would suggest to the honourable member for Mackellar that he should rise in the normal manner if he wishes to debate the matter and not continually interject.

Mr MacKellar - I am the honourable member for Warringah.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I meant to say the honourable member for Warringah. I apologise for the mistake.

Mr REYNOLDS - I am ready to quote them.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I would suggest to the honourable member for Barton that he should remain silent while the Chair is addressing the chamber.

Mr REYNOLDS - I am sorry. I apologise.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I repeat that if the honourable member for Warringah continues to interject I will have to deal with him.

Sitting suspended from 6.15 to 8 p.m.

Mr REYNOLDS - To continue my remarks in the few minutes available to me, prior to the suspension of the sitting for dinner I had been indicating my opposition to the amendment proposed by the Opposition parties. The Opposition has suggested that the Schools Commission should be a nominated body and that it should have on it direct representatives of various interest groups in the community, whereas the Bill provides that the Minister shall select the personnel of the Commission. In fact, the Minister has already done so, and a very eminent group of people they are. In the broad sense they are a very representative group of people, as was the Interim Committee - the so-called Karmel Committee - which carried out the inquiry leading up to this Bill. I had mentioned also that the reason why the Government had chosen the Commission rather than agreeing to have one nominated was that that was the recommendation of the Karmel Committee itself. For very good reasons, that Committee had suggested that the Schools Commission should be selected rather than nominated. I had just reached the point of saying that our action had been endorsed by various parent and teacher groups in the community. Included among them was the Federation of Catholic Parents and Friends Associations. I further referred to the fact that the Australian Educational Council, representatives of which the Opposition would like to see nominated to the Commission, has given no such indication to the Government that it wanted to have representatives on the Commission. Certainly, the majority of the representatives on the Australian Education Council, which as we all know is made up of the Ministers of Education of the various States, have not expressed such a view. Nobody would challenge the Schools Commission we have selected. Nobody would ever challenge the Australian Universities Commission that has existed over the years and the expertise that it has brought to its job. Nobody would challenge the Australian Commission for Colleges of Advanced Education.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

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