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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 1621

Senator MARTIN(10.44) —Clause 12 is the critical clause in relation to the proposed new first form of pledge of Australian citizenship and second form of pledge of Australian citizenship, which used to be known as the affirmation of allegiance and the oath of allegiance respectively. As has been indicated in the second reading debate, the Opposition opposes the change in the form of the pledge in such a way as to remove reference to swearing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen. The subject was canvassed at length in the second reading debate. During that debate I put on record my views on the subject so I do not intend to repeat them. I just point out to the Committee that if this clause is not carried it will be necessary to move a series of consequential amendments. One of our deputy clerks was kind enough to draw up a list of them and show it to me. I suggested that she take the amendments to the Minister for Social Security (Senator Grimes) because I did not want to take responsibility for them. I thought it was the Government's responsibility.

Another small matter has arisen since then to which I would like to direct the Minister's attention. It may be that after consulting his officers he can give an answer. Apparently, the principal Act originally contained three Schedules. One of those Schedules is no longer in the Act. The Act lists a Schedule 2 and a Schedule 3. Schedule 3 will become irrelevant because the clauses that it is relevant to at present are transitional provisions which will be removed from the Act by amendments that are in this amending Bill. So Schedule 3 will disappear. The effect of our opposing clause 12, if the Senate supports it, and I understand it will, would be to leave intact the present Schedule 2. I hope that means that everything will be in order. I hope the Minister follows this argument; because of changes in the numbers of Schedules there may be some other effects elsewhere in the Act.