Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 31 March 1987
Page: 1555


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(5.41) —Mr President, I wrote you that letter on the basis of the sitting arrangements which were then laid down by the Government. We have been told that those sitting arrangements may now be varied. Therefore, the switches in the membership which were meant to accommodate the availability of Opposition senators may no longer be relevant. It does appear that there is something in the air because we have just heard from the Department of the Special Minister of State, which wanted to know which senators were retiring, because members of the Department wanted to work out superannuation entitlements.

One wonders what in the hell the Government is up to when a department is wanting to know how to work out senators' superannuation. I just thought that I should let the Senate know. It must be that Senator Tate, the new Minister, being anxious to be on top of the job and with a possible election, is making inquiries as to which of us will disappear. In those circum- stances it makes moving this motion about on what dates honourable senators might be available for sittings a bit silly. I apologise for submitting a letter which was predicated on circumstances which have changed. Because we are told by the Manager of Government Business in the Senate (Senator Gareth Evans) that Estimates committees will sit tomorrow, as programmed--


The PRESIDENT —I understand that they will be sitting tonight and Thursday.


Senator CHANEY —In that case, I will move a motion which simply covers the changes which were put forward to apply on 31 March and which are dealt with in that letter. I will omit from the motion the changes that were suggested for 3 April, 6 April and 27 April. I move:

(1) That the following Senators be discharged from further attendance on Estimates Committees as follows, with effect from the commencement of the meeting of the relevant Committee on this day:

Estimates Committee B-Senator Sir John Carrick

Estimates Committee C-Senator Parer

(2) That the following Senators, having been duly nominated in accordance with Standing Order 36ab, be appointed members of Estimates Committees as follows, with effect from the commencement of the meeting of the relevant Committee on this day:

Estimates Committee B-Senator Watson

Estimates Committee C-Senator Hill

Mr President, that was a somewhat inelegant motion, that the Clerks might like to clean up. It was originally designed to encompass a whole lot of other changes which now may be quite irrelevant.

Question resolved in the affirmative.