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Monday, 25 March 1985
Page: 729

Senator HARRADINE —I seek leave, Mr Acting Deputy President, to make a brief statement as to the order of papers on the list.

Leave granted.

Senator HARRADINE —A paper entitled 'Remuneration Tribunal-Annual report 1983-84' is placed at item 10 on the list of papers before us. I just raise the question of who decides the order of these papers. The Remuneration Tribunal annual report is very bland. It states, briefly, that certain determinations were made. We all know that one of those determinations intruded into an area of major public policy of a most serious and contentious kind; that is, it granted a direct equality of status to de factos as compared with married spouses in its determination concerning overseas travel entitlements for members of parliament. Yet that paper is listed at No. 10, below the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board, Statement of Reasons for the Delay in Tabling the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board Annual Report, below the annual report of the Australian Capital Territory Architects Board, and below the annual report of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority.

I wonder whether we have our priorities right. I do not want to overstep the leave that I have been granted. I simply raise the question of who determines the order of these papers when they come before us, because, as we all know, we do not have enough time to deal with Government papers.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Townley) —I am advised that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet determines the order of these papers as they are presented to us, and it lists them. But we shall find out and advise Senator Harradine on the exact way that these papers are listed.