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Thursday, 13 September 1984
Page: 991

Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney- General) —by leave-I think we can all understand Senator Georges's concern that, given the imminence of Estimates committee hearings and other arrangements made, we should not now embark upon a long substantive debate. That point was very much present in the minds of those of us in the chamber who had some notice very recently of Senator Lewis's motion . However, I think Senator Georges can be guaranteed, following discussions that have taken place between the representatives of the various parties, that the debate on Senator Lewis's motion will be kept within a very short and narrow compass and will not detain the Senate longer than, I would hope, a few moments. Under those circumstances I think it probably is appropriate--

Senator Georges —What if I have an interest in the debate?

Senator GARETH EVANS —Senator Georges has a right as a senator to demonstrate that interest and to participate in that debate. Given the competing desires of honourable senators to get on with the business of Estimates and given the matter that Senator Lewis raises-given that he expresses himself in a way that does not generate further controversy-is likely to be capable of being dealt with in a short compass. I think under those circumstances we ought to allow this debate to proceed and the Senate to react to whatever it is that Senator Lewis now wants to tell us.

The PRESIDENT —Senator Lewis has sought leave to move a motion. Is leave granted ?

Leave granted.