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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 2090

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) -The only observation I make is that the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) is able to state that the tertiary education living allowance is, in the case of students living at home, limited to $850 and, for students living away from home, to $1,400. That is departmental edict. It shows the stupidity of Parliament for passing legislation still to be proclaimed and waiting on the people in the offices to provide regulations. It is completely idle to discuss parliamentary control either in the form of fixed appropriations or in the form of provisions of this sort unless we are going to insist that what we enact is on the basis of fact and that at the time we enact we know what we are doing. Yet here we are giving carte blanche for the Ministry to proclaim an Act at any time and for the Department to introduce regulations which we are cheerfully told are expected to be ready by 30 January when the people who are to get the advantages have to make their arrangements and go into their institutions with or without their scholarships and make their decisions before 3 1 January. I do not know when we will alert ourselves to the requirements of a decent sense of equity in respect of the taxpayer whose money we are giving away in this way according to departmental edict or when we will make provision for scholarships properly secured by law.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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