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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1982

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The action of Senator Rae in calling in aid the Karmel Committee report on the proposition of regular turnover of membership of the Australian Schools Commission is, on his own admission, confined to the part-time members. If the Karmel Committee had been of the opinion that this should apply also to fulltime members surely it would have said so. The view of the Government is that people who are prepared to commit their lives at a vital stage of their careers to a job like this one of full-time member of the Commission should have a reasonably lengthy term of office. It may seem that there is not much difference between 5 years and 7 years but let us look at a specific example. The Chairman of the present Interim Committee for the Australian Schools Commission is Dr Kenneth McKinnon. He was Director of Education in Papua New Guinea from 1960 to 1973 and has held various other highly responsible jobs. He is 42 years of age. I think that everybody would agree that this is a vital stage in the career of a distinguished academic like Dr McKinnon. The Government is fortunate to have his services and we feel that he should not be subjected to the insecurity of a term as short as 5 years. If we are to continue to get the best people we should offer them a term of at least 7 years.

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