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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1380

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - In making a statement upon this matter, where 1 use the first person personal pronoun it refers to the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon).

As 1 have indicated in answers to parliamentary questions, the Commonwealth and State Governments received the Report of the Commonwealth-State Officials' Committee on Decentralisation in June of this year. I also indicated that the Commonwealth was agreeable to the publication of the report and that I was seeking the agreement of the States to this course. All the States have now indicated their agreement to its public release and the printing of the report has now been completed. In undertaking its task the Committee commissioned a number of studies - in some cases involving outside bodies - which are listed as attachment A of the report. The printing of the studies in a separate vo in me is proceeding, but because of their size and for technical reasons it will be some time before the printing process is completed, /n the meantime, arrangements have been made for copies of the individual studies to be made available in the Parliamentary Library.

I mention that the report is the work of officials of the Commonwealth and the States and it does not therefore necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth and State Governments. The Premier of New South Wales has asked me to point out that the views expressed by the New

South Wales' Department of Decentralisation and Development in the supplementary statement to the report should not be taken as necessarily representing the views of the State Government. As far as the Commonwealth is concerned, I sa'd in my ministerial statement of 19th September 1972 on urban and regional development that the Government endorses the view of the Committee that the only type of decentralisation which offers significant prospects of success is selective decentralisation. I also said that we propose to establish a ministerial council, consisting of the Prime Minister and Premiers, as the principal body for consultation and coordination in the fields of urban and regional development. The Premiers have bee advised of the Commonwealth's initiative in this area of urban and regional development. So far as Commonwealth machinery is concerned, we will be introducing interim legislation shortly to establish a statutory organisation to be known as the National Urban and Regional Development Authority' - I move:

That the Senate take note of the Statement.

Debate (on motion by Senator O'Byrne) adjourned.

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