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Monday, 18 August 2003
Page: 18669

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in parliament;

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House:

That the constitution establishes a means to resolve deadlocks between the Houses of Parliament.

That where the Senate has twice failed to pass a bill, section 57 of the constitution permits a double dissolution of Parliament whereby all members of both houses must stand for re-election.

That if after the election the Senate again refuses to pass the bill a joint sitting of both houses may be held.

That under proposals made by the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, it will no longer be necessary to hold a double dissolution election for both houses of federal parliament before being able to hold a joint sitting of Parliament to pass contentious legislation.

That Mr Howard plans to issue a discussion paper on changing the joint sitting powers before considering whether to hold a referendum on the issue during the next election.

We therefore pray that the House takes urgent steps: to consider the opinions of a majority of the Australian populace that the Senate holds the correct amount of power; to accept that the Senate is a genuine house of review; and to reject Mr Howard's proposal that it will no longer be necessary to hold a double dissolution election for both houses of federal parliament before being able to hold a joint sitting of Parliament to pass contentious legislation.

by Ms Hoare (from 8 citizens)