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Tuesday, 16 April 1985
Page: 1099

Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(11.05) — The views of Senator Reid on education matters will be drawn to the attention of the appropriate Minister, as will the somewhat lengthy views of Senator Kilgariff. I note Senator Georges's factual explanation of the situation which he described. I concur very much with the reading by Senator Peter Rae of the extract from the House of Commons Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, which I think very neatly summarises the position as I understand it. I hope Senator Georges will be assisted in any endeavour tomorrow by making available to the magistrate, if it becomes necessary, the appropriate extracts from that report. I wish Senator Georges every success in his skirmishes, not in the political field but in the legal field. He has survived them very successfully in the past and I am sure he will do so in the future.

The PRESIDENT —In regard to the matter that has been raised by Senator Georges so far as it relates to my responsibilities to the Parliament, I will discuss that matter with my parliamentary officers. I agree with the suggestion put to Senator Georges by Senator Peter Rae, namely, that the needs of this Parliament to have its members serve the Parliament and parliamentary committees should be put by Senator Georges to the magistrate before whom he is appearing tomorrow. In that respect I am arranging for a photostat of the extract from the report of the House of Commons Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege to be made available to Senator Georges for his appearance tomorrow. I also suggest that, because he is a member of the Government Party and has raised in the adjournment debate the question of the future of the Government should the Government be deprived of its members through an alleged breach of a State law, he should discuss that aspect with the Attorney-General (Mr Lionel Bowen) for appropriate advice as a member of the Government Party. I note that the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Button) was present when Senator Georges spoke and that Senator Button, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate, has responded to the remarks made by Senator Georges. I join with Senator Button in wishing Senator Georges well.