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Thursday, 30 September 1999
Page: 9219


Senator IAN CAMPBELL (9:48 AM) —by leave—The confusion started when Senator Bishop moved a motion out of the sequence that would normally appear when you are seeking to suspend standing orders. You drew his attention to that. I thought that was the motion. It was the clear understanding on this side that the motion being dealt with was a procedural motion. You may recall calling Senator Bishop's attention to the fact that he needed to move that procedural motion. We took a step backwards. We thought on this side that Senator Bishop had moved a procedural motion.

Clearly, there was a misunderstanding. There was a misunderstanding on the other side because Senator Bishop moved an incorrect motion. You drew his attention to that. He then corrected that. I submit to you that there was a clear misunderstanding across the chamber as to the sequence of motions. There had been an informal understanding around the chamber that this matter would be dealt with and debated. I know that in discussions I had with the Democrats senator who is handling this, Senator Stott Despoja, and with other senators we agreed there would be a debate on this. If honourable senators want to take advantage of confusion that was clear on the other side of the chamber—from Senator Bishop's point of view—and around the chamber to ensure that no debate occurs, so be it. The government is happy to see this debated. It is happy to see the suspension proceed and would prefer to see this matter debated.