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Thursday, 19 March 1987
Page: 965


Senator PUPLICK(11.57) —I rise to speak on this amendment because I am absolutely wounded and mortified that, having in fact been the first person chosen under the change to the Constitution by a government that was of a different political persuasion, I have been left off Senator Macklin's list. This is a most terrible insult and I really do feel completely wounded about it.

The other thing I wanted to draw attention to is that, as we all know, the Parliamentary Handbook is the most authoritative document dealing with political matters in this place. The first person who was actually sworn in as a member of this chamber after the amendment to the Constitution was Senator Haines. The Parliamentary Handbook says that Senator Haines was chosen on 14 December 1977. Although she replaced a person who had been elected from a party of a different political persuasion technically, that is to say, from the Liberal Movement, what did strike me as being very interesting-I want to correct the historical record because, as you know, Mr Deputy President, I am very concerned about the historical record-is the fact that the Parliamentary Handbook, when mentioning Haines, J., South Australia, goes on to list her political affiliations as the Australian Labor Party. Whether we have stumbled upon some secret of state as far as this is concerned, whether the truth eventually will out, and has outed in the Parliamentary Handbook, this is perhaps something that the editors of that journal ought to have drawn to their attention.

Nevertheless, the important thing is that in their maniacal desire to find some way to cloak themselves in all sorts of rectitude, the Australian Democrats have managed to produce what purports to be an amendment. The principle of that amendment was to deal with those cases where a political party, in control of a State parliament, appointed somebody from a different political party to fill a casual vacancy which had occurred after the passage of the amendment to section 15 of the Constitution. As I have said, although I acknowledge that Senator Haines has apologised and Senator Macklin has had the decency to blush at their lack of research, lack of thought and lack of planning in drawing up this Australian Democrats' amendment, I am mortified and grievously wounded to find that, when I am the first person who qualifies in the Democrats' list, I have been left off it. That ought to be rectified at least in the course of the speech. I am almost tempted to foreshadow an amendment to the foreshadowed amendment in order to ensure that the historical record is correct. I do not think I will bother because, frankly, the principle espoused in the first part of the motion, which has been so admirably supported by Senator Durack and by other senators on this side of the chamber, has indicated just how unnecessary all the other amendments are. But it does seem to be typical of the Australian Democrats that their second amendment is not only unnecessary but also factually incorrect.