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Friday, 24 August 1984
Page: 344

Senator HARRADINE(11.00) —Perhaps I could enlighten the Attorney- General (Senator Gareth Evans) and follow up what Senator Macklin said. The position is that after the expected December election there will be an interim Senate, if I might so phrase it, comprising the existing members of the Senate, plus two additional senators from each State. Those two senators will be the first two non-sitting candidates elected. The question that arises is how to determine who are the first two non-sitting candidates elected, and whether that is to be determined by reference to the first two non-sitting candidates who attain a quota, or by reference to particular votes obtained by those persons. It appears that situation is not catered for and would not be catered for in the event of this proposal not going through. Even if it did go through, I cannot see how that matter is catered for. In the likely event of the referendum being defeated, it would not deal with that matter. Under the current provision the Senate determines the issue, but in fact the Senate is not formed. At that time the Senate comprises current members, plus two additional members. I would be interested to have the Attorney's views on that matter.