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Monday, 13 May 1985
Page: 1859

Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats) —Mr Deputy President, I have been misrepresented and I wish to make a statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —By something which you said in this debate?

Senator CHIPP —No, something which Senator Harradine said.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —In that case you are making a personal explanation. You need leave of the Senate.

Leave granted.

Senator CHIPP —Senator Harradine, for the second time this evening, has detailed, as he understands it, the circumstances under which he was granted leave to move for the suspension of Standing Orders. He said that he consulted party leaders-the Government, the Opposition and the Leader of the Australian Democrats-who had given him authority to move to suspend Standing Orders. At no stage today did I give any assent at all. The sum total of the conversation Senator Harradine had with me, as I said before, was to come to me with a piece of paper, which I now see, wave it so that I could not read anything and say 'Don, where's Michael?'-referring to the Democrats' Whip. I said: 'He is in his office'. He said: 'I do not want to canvass the substantive matter with you now. All I want to do is move for the suspension of Standing Orders so that a private member who introduces a Bill can appear before the Scrutiny of Bills Committee'. I said: 'Senator Macklin is in his office. Go and see him'. I submit that no person with any sort of logical reflexes at all could understand from that that the Leader of the Australian Democrats gave Senator Harradine the authority or the blessing of the Australian Democrats to move to suspend Standing Orders today. As I said before, it is a blatant, absolute and wilful untruth.