Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 7 September 1983
Page: 452


Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Leader of the House)(11.30) —I move:

(1) That the resolution of appointment of the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform be amended:

(a) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new paragraph:

''(3A) That the members of the committee hold office as a joint committee until the House of Representatives expires by dissolution or effluxion of time.'', and

(b) by omitting paragraph (14), as amended, and substituting the following paragraphs:

''(14) That the committee have leave to report from time to time.

(14A) That the committee report as soon as possible.''.

(2) That a message be sent to the Senate acquainting it of this resolution and requesting its concurrence.

The motion talks about the resolution of appointment of the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform and its term of appointment being altered by inserting a paragraph that ensures that the members of the Committee hold office as a joint committee until the House of Representatives expires by dissolution or effluxion of time and by substituting paragraphs which state:

(14) That the committee have leave to report from time to time.

(14A) That the committee report as soon as possible.

I understand that the report of the Committee will be made available next week. It is important that we have the benefit of that report. The Chairman of the Committee has advised that the Committee has agreed to the terms of a report which is currently being printed and will be presented next week. The Chairman has also advised that the Committee has identified several specific matters within its terms of reference that it would like to consider at greater length. It is for that reason that this motion seeks to enable the Committee to continue to sit after 15 September next. As a select committee with the direction to report by a specific date, the Committee's existence would come to an end unless we gave that extension. In other words, if the Committee were to present a report it would no longer be able to continue, and it would be out of business from the point of view of taking further evidence.

The terms of the motion moved will enable the House to have the benefit of the Committee's recommendations in considering proposed electoral legislation and allow the Committee to pursue the matters as identified at greater length. A similar motion will be moved in the Senate, and that will enable the Joint Committee to continue. It is virtually a machinery motion which meets with the accord of all members of the Committee and, I understand, the Opposition. It enables the Committee to continue to function. I do not think there should be any objection to this proposal.