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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 984

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Laucke (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question:

That the Temporary Chairman do now leave the Chair and report to the Senate.

Question resolved in the negative.

Consideration resumed.

Senator MURPHY - I think that some way such as that ought to be provided in the legislation. Provisions are contained in the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act under which the court and procedures are readily adaptable to deal with that kind of problem. It would be preferable not to leave these matters to regulations under which we can run into all sorts of difficulties. I suppose to be fair, I should state that the department concerned is not expert in dealing with such intricate matters. It would be better to have one Federal body which was expert in these matters to deal with all these kinds of problems. After all, this is not a primary production problem. It is an electoral problem. It is a question of what is done in the case of a disputed election. That body which deals with disputed elections and organisations could probably quite simply and easily deal with disputed elections in cases which arise under this enactment.

I suggest that is one way to deal with the problem. There are other ways in which it could be done, but I would think it preferable that these matters ought to be dealt with in Bills rather than be left to a regulation making power in view of the history of the matter. Honourable senators may be interested to learn that the Regulations and Ordinances Committee took up the matter and referred in its 39th report to the question of regulations rendered invalid by judgment of the High Court. In paragraph 6 of its report it states:

It would appear that, as a result of this decision

That is the High Court decision - . . the Dried Fruits Export Control (Election of Board) Regulations and the Dairy Produce Export Control (Election of Board) Regulations are also invalid in part.

That ought to be cleared up for the sake of the citizens who deal with those bodies. I would ask that the Minister, if he has an opportunity in the future, take steps to see to it that perhaps the whole of these primary producer board elections and provisions for disputed elections are dealt with in a similar way. Perhaps it could be done by reference to some central piece of legislation rather than by leaving it in the area mostly of subordinate legislation under which we might get into difficulties.

The other matter which was referred to in the Minister's second reading speech is dealt with in clause 14 of the Bill. The question of remuneration raised by Senator Little is, of course, now in accordance with the procedures initiated in the Senate, dealt with, not as a matter for determination by the Higher Salaries Board but as a matter to be determined by the Parliament. We fix the salaries rather than allow them to be determined outside of the Parliament on the recommendation of some' such body as the Higher Salaries Board.

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