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Wednesday, 30 October 1974
Page: 2153

Senator EVERETT (Tasmania) -in reply- I join the Minister for Repatriation and Compensation (Senator Wheeldon) in thanking Senator Drake-Brockman for his co-operative attitude to this proposal. I believe that Senator Drake-Brockman uttered 2 fundamental truths. Firstly, he acknowledged the grave deficiencies in the present compensation system. I believe that was a fundamental and a true acknowledgment. If the present system has grave deficiencies, as the Government would assert and as Senator Drake-Brockman has acknowledged, it is the task of the Government and of the Parliament to substitute for such a gravely defective system a system which will not have those defects. It was with that thought in mind that the Government put forward this legislation. It was with that thought that I moved to refer the Bill to the appropriate committee.

The second fundamental truth which I think Senator Drake-Brockman uttered was about the attitude of the insurance industry. As I recollect his words, he stated that there was a division in the ranks of the insurance industry in relation to this legislation. From discussions which I have had and from inquiries which I have made about this legislation, that is true. It will be the task of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs to probe this difference of opinion and to determine where the balance of judgment lies so far as the insurance industry is concerned. I do not think that Senator DrakeBrockman or the Senate need have any worries about the question of time. I do not doubt that the Committee will faithfully carry out the reference that is given it. If it needs more time beyond the end of next month, I do not imagine that it will hesitate to do what it did in relation to the Family Law Bill and seek an extension of time from the Senate. I repeat my thanks for the co-operation of the Opposition.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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