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Friday, 16 August 1974
Page: 1088


Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - The Government opposes the amendment There are few Acts which do not provide that a Minister with a multiplicity of functions and duties shall have power to delegate. In both the portfolios I have occupied, involving the administration of the Department of Works and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, there is power to delegate. This power is used in certain directions. It may be power for a public servant to approve of the allocation of funds up to a certain amount. One cannot deny a Minister that power to delegate. If he did not have that power he would have to chase every dollar that was spent. The action now taken by the Liberal Opposition is consistent with its actions since 1972 of opposing for opposition's sake; it is not consistent with previous policy.

I am informed that the former LiberalCountry Party Government among other legislation dealing with transport, introduced the Navigation Act. Part VI of that Act provides that that Minister may delegate power to a public servant to issue licences and single voyage permits for coastal trading. Then, the Air Navigation Act provides that a Minister may delegate powers in relation to international airports, the cancellation or suspension of a licence, approval of nonscheduled flights on foreign carriers and of the use of defence aerodromes. In addition there are many other powers to delegate in the regulations made pursuant to the Act. The Airports Business Concession Act which was brought down by a previous Liberal-Country Party Government provides for delegation of power in several areas including business concessions, except in cases in relation to the sale of liquor. With my knowledge of the work of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee, I say that few Acts of the Australian Parliament do not include power to delegate. It is an essential part of the operations of a busy Ministry.







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