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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2888


Senator SIBRAA(10.13) —by leave-I move:

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent senators who are members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence attending a meeting of the Australia and ASEAN Sub-Committee during the sitting of the Senate for the remainder of the present period of sittings.

The Association of South East Asian Nations Sub-Committee of the Joint Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, of which I am Chairman, is currently taking evidence on a reference 'Australia and ASEAN'. The Committee had originally scheduled meetings thinking that the Senate would have concluded its business last week. Meetings were scheduled for Thursday, 14 June with four ASEAN-based academics in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia; those meetings to take place in Canberra. I stress that the witnesses are available only this week. Two of them have to leave for overseas this weekend. It is imperative for the Committee's draft report, which will be written in the parliamentary break, that we take evidence from these witnesses. The meetings will take place in the Senate committee rooms so that no pairs will be required. I commend the motion to the Senate.