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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2974


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(10.17) —I am not sure that I can give Senator Harradine much more help than saying that, in the construction of the phrase 'recognised political party', undoubtedly a court or someone else whose job it was to apply it would obviously have close regard to whether or not the body in question was a registered political party within the meaning of the Commonwealth Electoral Act. Whether one would be able to apply the rest of these provisions which talk about leaders and deputy leaders in a situation where the registered political party in question consisted of one person without discernible followers in the chamber in question is another matter. That would be a matter for argument at the time. Senator Harradine has always been able to survive conspicuously well in Assyrian bazaar aspects of negotiation for staff members around this place. I have no doubt that his dexterity in these matters will serve him well in the future. I do not think he is the sort of person, or even now registered political party, who will need the statutory support that is here provided for, albeit in a discretionary way. However, beyond that I really cannot be more precise. It is clearly not the same terminology being employed with exactly the same effect as in the Commonwealth Electoral Act. But equally clearly, the new provisions in the Commonwealth Electoral Act will obviously be of significance in applying and giving force and effect to these provisions here .