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Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Page: 2150

Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (6:36 PM) —It was not all that long ago that I was down by the Franklin River defending a law that one should not lurk, loiter or secrete oneself. Now it is the Liberals who are talking about lurking and loitering, at least until Saturday, as I heard from that contribution. We are dealing with a motion to sit tonight, but Senator Fifield says that the opposition will oppose that and would prefer to talk this out through Friday and Saturday, when we are not scheduled to sit. The opposition evidently want to extend the sitting through to Saturday, but let me make this clear: the legislation before the Senate should be responsibly dealt with. I, for one, am happy to sit here until Christmas Eve if that is necessary—I have done that before; there is no problem. What we do need is a modicum of common sense in dealing with this and some other pieces of legislation tonight, tomorrow and potentially tomorrow night so that the legislation on the slate can be intelligently resolved and we can reasonably head off to what all senators know is still a busy schedule for us after sittings finish. The government is spoiling for an amendment to the hours. I think this is a reasonable proposition. I move that the question be now put.

A division having been called and the bells being rung—

Senator Abetz —Madam Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. I understand that a senator cannot move that the question be put in circumstances where they have spoken to the motion. It is quite clear that that is what Senator Bob Brown did. He took the opportunity to speak at some length and then moved that the question be put. Is that allowable under the standing orders?

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Troeth)—Senator Abetz appears to be correct. Is leave granted to stop the division?

Leave granted.