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Thursday, 28 March 1985
Page: 932

Senator ROBERTSON(10.10) —The matter is in the hands virtually of the members of the Opposition who look after General Business. If we bring this matter on, as Senator Harradine suggests, at the presentation of papers, it will delay General Business for the Opposition. If that is what the Opposition wants we will certainly be quite happy to vote for it. It seems to me that it is more appropriate to bring it on after general business when we normally handle these things. If we bring this matter on after general business Senator Harradine and anyone else who wishes to speak will have one full hour within which to debate the report. Let me make it quite clear that there is nothing sinister about this. I think that is a most unusual word for the honourable senator to use. The matter was discussed at the Whip's meeting this morning. It was decided among the three--

Senator Harradine —I did not suggest there was anything sinister in it.

Senator ROBERTSON —I am sorry, I must have misheard the honourable senator. It was discussed at the Whip's meeting this morning and, as all these things are arranged, it seemed more appropriate to do it at this stage. However, if Senator Harradine wants to get away early today for some reason and he wants to bring this matter on earlier in the day, we will leave it to members of the Opposition to make that decision. I suggest to the House that we stick with our normal practice. This is what we normally do. This is the way in which we handle these things. Let us simply say that, after General Business, there will be one hour within which to handle this matter which should be appropriate as that is as much time as is given to normal reports. I recommend that honourable senators vote for the proposition put forward by the manager of Government Business.

Amendment negatived.