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Friday, 19 April 1985
Page: 1229

Senator ELSTOB(9.38) —I congratulate Senator Tate on his initiative in moving to have this matter referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. Many Australians feel that it is time for Australia to have a Bill of Rights. I have always felt that we should follow other Bills of Rights, such as the American Bill of Rights. I also believe that an Australian Bill of Rights should give people the right to medical services, the right to education and the right to work. I will make a submission to the Committee along those lines. That does not mean that all the other rights, the democratic rights that we hold very dear, are not important.

It is time for Australia to look at the whole aspect of rights for its people. Perhaps this can be done through a committee, which adopts a bipartisan approach. The committees of this Senate have been successful in many areas. That may be a way of bringing together the public and the politicians of this country to put up sensible solutions and get some agreement on them. Perhaps this is the way to proceed. I think that this is an important issue. Once again, I congratulate Senator Tate for initiating this move.