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Tuesday, 23 October 1984
Page: 2173

Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate)(10.13) —The Government does not support the suspension of Standing Orders to deal with this matter. We regard it as inappropriate in the present circumstances. In saying that I do not in any way wish to canvass the issue which Senator Harradine has raised. He has made a point and I will certainly undertake to draw the attention of the Public Service Board to it. However, in the context of the present Parliament, which has a lot of pressing and urgent business to attend to, we do not regard it as appropriate that Standing Orders be suspended to deal with this matter.

I think that Senator Harradine would, on analysis of the figures of recruitment and breakup of the Commonwealth Public Service, see there has been a changing pattern over a number of years which relates to retention rates and a whole range of things which are very complex. I do not think that we have time to deal fully with those matters at this stage. In those circumstances, as I have said, we do not regard the suspension of Standing Orders as appropriate and will not support the motion.