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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 2754


Senator WALTERS(11.25) —Last night I was saying that once again the Bill of Rights is rearing its ugly head in this place-this time through the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Bill 1985. As has already been indicated, there was a sunset clause in the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Bill and the situation is that it must now be debated again. I believe that these sunset clauses are of great benefit to the Parliament. I believe they should be used more frequently. There is no doubt at all that this Commission needs a review. It is time that there was considerable debate about the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission because there is considerable concern out there in the community.


The CHAIRMAN —The motion before the Chair is that the consideration of the Australian Bill of Rights Bill be postponed. There will be a subsequent opportunity to debate the Commission.


Senator Gareth Evans —You will have an opportunity to talk about the Commission under the next motion.


Senator WALTERS —Yes, I realise that.


The CHAIRMAN —You should confine your remarks to the postponement of the consideration of the Australian Bill of Rights Bill.


Senator WALTERS —It is because Senator Gareth Evans eventually moved last night that the Australian Bill of Rights Bill be postponed-thrown out, indeed-that we are in this situation. It was not until we were half way through our debate that Senator Gareth Evans rose and put that motion at the end of the evening. If he had put it earlier we would have been in the position this morning of getting ahead with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Bill. As a result of Senator Gareth Evans's very late announcement last night, I thought we had now moved to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Bill and that we were not debating the postponement of the consideration of the Australian Bill of Rights Bill.


The CHAIRMAN —No, the motion before the Chair is that further consideration of the Australian Bill of Rights Bill be postponed.