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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6097


Senator MACKAY (3:37 PM) —At the request of the Deputy President, I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, he shall move:

That standing order 21 be amended to read as follows:

(1) A House Committee, consisting of the President, the Deputy President and 5 senators, shall be appointed at the commencement of each Parliament, with power to act during recess, and to confer and sit as a joint committee with a similar committee of the House of Representatives.

(2) The committee may consider any matter relating to the provision of facilities in Parliament House referred to it by the Senate or by the President.

(3) The President shall be the chair of the committee.

I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a brief explanation of the notice of motion.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows

The provisions in standing order 21, whereby the Deputy President is the Chair of the Senate House Committee, and the President is not specified as an ex officio member, which were introduced in 1994 as part of the scheme for sharing the chairs of Senate committees among the parties in the Senate, have been ignored in practice. The President has continued to chair the meetings of the Senate and House of Representatives House Committees when they meet together, in accordance with the practice before the amendment of the standing order.

To regularise the practice, it is proposed that the standing order be amended so that the President is Chair of the Senate House Committee and the Deputy President is an ex officio member.