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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1470

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - The Opposition desires to move an amendment to clause 38 also. Whilst it cannot accurately be described as a consequential amendment it is nevertheless an amendment consistent with an earlier amendment made by the Committee. Clause 38 seeks to amend section 88za of the Principal Act. It is a clause which seeks to bring in an expression which was earlier attempted to be brought into this Bill by clause 19 and which substituted for the concept of 'the public interest' which has long been part of the frame work of this legislation, a completely new concept, namely, 'a major detriment to the public interest'. When the provision in clause 19 was before the Committee a long and sometimes involved debate ensued; but it was then recognised that the words 'a major detriment to the public interest' have an element of uncertainty and limitation and are not as satisfactory as the words simply expressed 'whether or not a memorandum which is proposed to be certified is in the public interest'. The Opposition seeks to adhere to the expression which has been generally used and to which customary usage has given some indications or guidelines as to how it is to be interpreted. Accordingly I move:

Omit paragraph (b) of proposed sub-section (5), substitute the following paragraph:-

(b)   it is not in the public interest that the memorandum should be certified.'

It will mean in due course that the Chairman of the Conciliation Committee shall not refuse to certify a memorandum unless he is of the opinion that it is not in the public interest that the memorandum should be certified.

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