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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1982

Senator RAE (Tasmania) - This is amendment No. 6 in the circulated list of amendments. In relation to clause 5 we propose an amendment which is again partially consequential upon the previous amendments which I have moved in this debate. Clause 5 deals with the position of full time members. It provides that the Chairman shall be a full time member of the Commission and also that the GovernorGeneral, which really means the Minister, may appoint any other member to be a full time member of the Commission. This clause also states:

(2)   The number of full-time members, other than the Chairman, shall not at any time exceed three.

I take this opportunity to mention that the Opposition would not have any objection if the Government believed, after consideration, that there should be more full time members than the three plus one; in other words, perhaps four plus the one who is the Chairman as was recommended by the Karmel Committee or perhaps even one more than that. We would not have any objection if the Minister indicated that in order to go on with the Commission the Government wanted to have another one or two full time members. That is something which would receive the approval or support of the Opposition, But we do not wish to push that proposal ourselves. We wish to ensure that of the full time members of the Commission one shall be drawn from the non-government school area giving this section a guarantee of one full time member. It is anticipated that the others will be drawn from the other areas making up the Commission. Our amendment proposes to add at the end of the paragraph which provides that the number of full time members other than the Chairman shall not at any time exceed three, the words: of whom at least one shall be a member selected and appointed pursuant to paragraph 4a (c).

Sub-paragraph (c) deals with the 3 members of the Commission who are drawn from the area of non-government school education. The reason for this is simply to ensure that all sectors of the education administration areas are likely to be included on full time membership of the Schools Commission. This is a role which we see as being of vital importance to the whole of the development of education in Australia. We believe it is desirable that full time members should be able to draw on the experience, knowledge, ideas and developments which are taking place in the various administrative areas of education in Australia. I do not want to be taken as saying that any individual full time member must be an administrator. But we think it is desirable that he should have some liaison with the various areas of administration. For that reason I move:

At end of sub-clause (2) add: of whom at least one shall be a member selected and appointed pursuant to paragraph 4a (c).

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