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Wednesday, 21 June 2000
Page: 18019


Mr KERR (7:32 PM) —Mr Deputy Speaker Nehl, I do not know the process. I was inviting the minister to reflect on his remarks and come back in the morning. I understand that there is agreement by the whips that this matter be disposed of on the basis that the minister is not available tomorrow morning. I would wish that this matter come back and that the minister take some counsel in relation to these matters.


Mr McGauran —No, he doesn't need to.


Mr KERR —The minister says he does not need to.


Mr McGauran —You are the one who ought to reflect on his contributions.


Mr KERR —The minister, I believe, is being unhelpful. He says he is not available tomorrow morning.


Mr Pyne —On a point of order, my understanding, Mr Deputy Speaker, is that you asked the member for Denison to move the adjournment of the debate. More importantly, I do not believe that the Main Committee should be able to sit past 7.30. It is my understanding that we have to adjourn at 7.30.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The Main Committee can sit while ever the House of Representatives is sitting. I thank the honourable member for his point of order. I would suggest that there has been a slight degree of confusion, because I was advised that another member still wished to speak but that conflicted with the information I had that the member for the Northern Territory no longer wished to speak on this matter. That is why I started off by putting the motion. My current understanding—and please tell me immediately if I am wrong—is that, if I put the question and we carry the motion, that will be a satisfactory outcome. Is that correct?


Mr KERR —Mr Deputy Speaker Nehl, my understanding is that we wish to continue to debate this matter and Mr Snowdon wishes to continue to debate it, but the minister is not available tomorrow. In those circumstances, there seems little point in dealing with this matter, as the government has nobody to represent it in relation to the proceedings tomorrow morning.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! I can see no difficulty in the matter being adjourned to a later hour tomorrow.


Mr KERR —I would make the suggestion that would allow Mr Snowdon to take the matter up and the minister to reflect in relation to any matters that are outstanding.