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Wednesday, 17 October 1984
Page: 1823

Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(10.28) —I am not sure why Senator Durack found it necessary to embark upon the substantive discussion of the merits of these motions at this stage since it has been indicated to him that the Government will not oppose the bringing on of the motion to debate at least the establishment of a Senate select committee. We are not all that impressed by the urgency of bringing on the other motion to which he refers, but we will not contest that in the interests of a quick dispatch of the Senate's business. I simply make the point that it has never been the Government's intention to hinder in any way the establishment of an appropriate parliamentary committee. There have been some technical difficulties in getting the resolution before the Senate earlier than this because of the pressure of business in the House of Representatives. Its members are slightly less besotted with the urgency of this topic than is the case with honourable senators opposite it seems.

I foreshadow now that, consistent with our attitude towards the establishment of a committee, we will not oppose the establishment straight away of a Senate committee in order to enable this matter to be dealt with expeditiously, submissions to be invited and some work to commence over the recess period. I would hope that in the light of that flagging by the Government of its attitude to this matter we can make the debate when it does come on-I understand that it is proposed that it should come on straight after the debate on the health Bills is concluded-rather shorter than it might otherwise have been.

Question resolved in the affirmative.