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Wednesday, 10 October 1984
Page: 1596

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Social Security)(6.51) —I rise quite briefly to support the motion for the suspension of standing orders. What happened tonight was not an unusual procedure in this place. Senator Tate, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Allegations Concerning a Judge, sought leave to move a motion for the extension of the time by which that Committee must report. That has been discussed with me not only by Senator Tate but also by a member of the Committee on the other side of the chamber.

Senator Georges —You should have taken it more seriously than you did.

Senator GRIMES —I do take it seriously; do not go on like that. As Senator Georges was talking about unusual procedures in this place, I remind honourable senators of the number of times he sought leave for the committee of which he was chairman to sit while the Senate was sitting, and when he did not get that permission he just sat anyhow. So let us not talk about people not worrying about the procedures in this place.

Senator Georges —If you want a personal explanation you will get one.

Senator GRIMES —I am sorry to mention it, but it is no good Senator Georges accusing Senator Tate of not following the procedures properly if he does not do it himself. The simple fact is that this Committee was established with all the misgivings that I, Senator Georges, Senator Evans and others had about it. This Committee was established by the Senate. We should be concerned that the Committee should do its work as expeditiously as possible. We should be concerned that the Committee can get on with its work. If Senator Georges has complaints about the way in which the Committee is operating, there are plenty of opportunities in this place, with due respect, for him to talk about that. I think it is sensible that we deal with this motion tonight. I think it is sensible to give the Committee the extension of time it has asked for. I do not think anyone in this place is surprised that the Committee has asked for an extension of time. I do not think anyone in this place expected otherwise. For that reason I support the motion for the suspension of standing orders.