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Tuesday, 26 March 1985
Page: 814


Senator PETER RAE(5.43) —I would not want the motion moved by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) to pass without it being noted that consideration has been given to improvements in the operation of the Senate Estimates committees by a bi-partisan committee of the Senate and by individual senators including some Opposition senators. They include the constitution of the committees, the grouping of the committees and other matters. Whilst the motion moved by the Minister is not opposed at this stage, I would not want it to be taken that it is writ in stone that the current procedure should be followed. For the coming Estimates the composition of Estimates committees A to F will be as it has been in the past. I hope some discussions will take place at an early stage in relation to possible changes to make more effective and efficient the utilisation of time of senators, the staff of the Senate and the staff of the Public Service. A statement will be made by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Chaney) in the near future in relation to that. I foreshadow a number of matters which he will be referring to in relation to the committee system, including some proposals which we hope can be considered by the Senate, the Standing Orders Committee and others in the party rooms for further development of the Estimates committee proceedings. I take the opportunity to mention that at the time of agreeing to the motion the Minister has moved.

Question resolved in the affirmative.