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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3223

Senator MAUNSELL (Queensland) - The Opposition will oppose clause 5. We do not see why an extra member should be appointed to the Australian Wool Corporation. Whilst there are provisions within clause 5 with which we agree- for example, that there be a rotation of the membership and that all the members should not be elected at the one time- we are concerned that if this clause is passed certain members of the Corporation will be replaced before their term is due to expire. I say that particularly in view of speeches made in the other place by supporters of the Government. I refer to the Minister for Northern Development. Because of statements made concerning certain members of the Board, we believe it would be very bad at this stage anyway if confidence in the Corporation was destroyed by removing certain members. Also we do not see why, in the short term- when I say in the short term I mean maybe four or five years- when the growers themselves will have contributed the necessary funds to operate the reserve price scheme, the grower members should be subject to selection by the Minister. If the industry is to have so much financial involvement in the operations of the Corporation, we believe it should have the right to select its own members of that Board without having to submit a panel of names from which the Minister can choose whomever he desires. We believe that the bad features of this clause outweigh the good features. At no stage have we heard why a special member or a new member with special qualifications should be appointed. We do not know what special qualifications are required. We do not have any idea of the type of person the Minister has in mind. Consequently in that case we believe that we should not extend the composition of the Board. We believe it is sufficient as it operates at present. We will oppose clause 5.

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