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Wednesday, 12 September 1984
Page: 863


Senator HARRADINE(10.29) —I should like to say that at this time I consider that the motion to bring on the Australian Waters (Nuclear-Powered Ships and Nuclear Weapons Prohibition) Bill 1984 is somewhat premature, but I believe it ought to be brought on, certainly before the Senate rises, because it deals with a matter of major and vital national importance affecting the national security of this country. Therefore, since a senator has decided to exercise his right to bring forward a piece of legislation dealing with this matter of major national public importance, I believe that it cannot be left hanging in the wilderness.

I listened to Senator Grimes's remarks and some of them were relevant to this question, namely the question of notice. I am in that situation myself on this matter. However, if this matter goes ahead today, I intend to speak on it because it is a matter of great national importance. But as Senator Grimes said, there are other senators who have Bills which they have put forward on other matters of vital national importance and other matters of great principle underpinning the law. One of those matters is my Bill, the Remuneration and Allowances Amendment Bill 1984 (No. 2). I do not accept Senator Grimes's suggestion that those measures should be left to only the General Business times , when it is easy enough for other senators to talk out time. When time is talked out the Bill then goes to the bottom of the Notice Paper and is not dealt with. I am not prepared to accept that situation in respect of my Bill or other measures such as this one brought forward by Senator Chipp, which goes to the heart of fundamental issues relating to the national security of this country.

However, at this stage I am not prepared to vote for the motion seeking to bring this matter on today. I would have been prepared to vote for a motion seeking to bring it on at the next day of sitting; that is, in a fortnight's time. That is my position.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Chaney's) be agreed to.