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Thursday, 3 November 1983
Page: 2303


Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Leader of the House)(3.20) —I move:

That, unless otherwise, ordered, the following amendments to the standing orders be adopted for the remainder of this session:

Routine of businessStanding order 101 be amended to read-101. The House shall proceed on the days indicated with its ordinary business in the following routine:

Tuesday1. Giving notices. 2. Questions without notice. 3. Presentation of papers . 4. Ministerial statements, by leave. 5. Presentation of petitions. 6. Matter of public importance. 7. Notices and orders of the day.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday1. Presentation of petitions. 2. Giving notices. 3 . Notices and orders of the day. 4. Questions without notice (at 2 p.m.). 5. Presentation of papers. 6. Ministerial statements, by leave. 7. Matter of public importance. 8. Notices and orders of the day.

General business-priority to noticesStanding order 109 be amended by omitting '' for 2 hours after the meeting of the House'' and substituting ''until 9.30 p.m.' '.

This proposal is purely machinery. It in no way diminishes the importance of parliamentary business. We propose simply to alter the time at which petitions will be read on Tuesdays. Petitions will still be forwarded to the responsible Minister in accordance with standing order 132. I might allay the fears of honourable members if I say that the inclusion of Friday in the proposed sessional order is simply to cover the eventuality of a Friday sitting and the routine of business which would be allowed. It in no way implies that the House will sit on Fridays, at least for the present. I do not want to delay the House. The motion also seeks to amend the standing order relating to General Business to provide for the automatic calling on of General Business, orders of the day, 1 1/2 hours after the commencement of General Business. It will bring the provisions of the original standing order into line with the current sessional order. The proposed changes will take effect from next Tuesday. The proposed pattern of sittings for autumn next year should be circulated to honourable members this afternoon.