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Tuesday, 7 October 2003
Page: 20638

Mr LATHAM (Manager of Opposition Business) (3:37 PM) —I have a question for you, Mr Speaker, and it concerns your role as one of the Presiding Officers. Are you able to provide information to the parliament about the proposed sittings on the 23rd and the 24th of this month for President Bush and President Hu, particularly to meet the desire of members on this side—and, I am sure, of the Australian public—that the parliament undertake a full day's work and be a fully functioning parliament for the two days rather than just clocking on for half an hour on each day and then clocking off? What will be the arrangements on the 23rd and the 24th of October and will the Australian people get value for money out of the public cost of bringing the parliament back for two days—hopefully for more than half an hour on each day?

The SPEAKER —I will respond briefly before recognising the Leader of the House. Let me indicate that the Speaker's role in this is to facilitate whatever is the House's wish. The Speaker convenes the parliament on the resolution of the House, at its rising, at the point of adjournment. So whatever the Speaker does will be determined by the resolution of the House during its debate or at a point of adjournment.