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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1932

Senator McMANUS (Victoria) (Leader of the Australian Democratic Labor Party) - I thank the honourable senator. I will be very brief because I realise that Senator Davidson has been rather frustrated in his attempts to get the call. One organisation which has made representations to me knows the 2 representatives who are supposed to represent its point of view on the commission. Everybody knows who they will be. It wants to appoint is own representatives. I believe that is democracy.

Senator Mulvihill - Who are the two?

Senator McMANUS - The honourable senator knows who the 2 people are- Father Martin and Mr McNamara.

Senator Mulvihill - What was wrong with their efforts?

Senator McMANUS -I am not saying anything is wrong with them. I am saying that they do not represent the organisations which we were told they were representing. They were appointed by the Government. Is that not true? Everybody knows that they will be appointed this time. Is there anything undemocratic in the organisations which they are supposed to represent being allowed to nominate them? I do not see anything wrong with that. In union affairs, do not the unions agitate for the right to nominate their people? Of course they do. Why is it right for unionists and wrong for educationists?

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - You would say that a man who was appointed to a commission by a union could not carry out his duties satisfactorily.

Senator McMANUS - I can only say this: When I was a member of the Australian Labor

Party I was responsible for quite a number of people being appointed to boards of different government instrumentalities as union representatives, but I always insisted that they be chosen by their union, not by the government.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has every commission a union representative on it?

Senator McMANUS - I wish to continue. I promised to be brief, and I will be. I see nothing wrong in people being nominated by the organisations which they are supposed to represent. Under this Bill there is no obligation on the Government to give representation to any organisation. It can please itself. It can pick and choose. I do not think that is democratic. For 26 years I was on the Victorian Board of Adult Education. Each member of the Board, except two, was nominated by an organisation. If that is good enough for the Victorian Board of Adult Education, why is not it good enough for this Commission.

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