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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 189


Senator HARRADINE (11.35 a.m.) —I take up that point made by Senator Teague. Theoretically, that is correct. It is theoretically possible to seek to have one's name substituted for that of another senator but, as the committees are comprised, the committees have only one senator who is not from the government or the opposition; that is, one senator from the Democrats or the Greens, or me. If I went along to the Democrats and said that I wanted to be substituted for their nominee on the committee dealing with industrial relations, which both Senator Bell and I are interested in, I could not really expect him to give up his place and substitute me.

  Let us take that example further. I may be a participating member on the committee dealing with a piece of industrial legislation. I may look at the legislation and be in favour of all of it barring something that may impinge upon the industrial relations commission in Tasmania. If I go as a participating member to all of those meetings dealing with that particular aspect alone and ask questions of the witnesses and am in favour of the rest of the matter, and the other members of the committee ultimately come to some conclusion with which I am not in favour, then why should I, having participated in the committee for that particular circumstance, not be able to detail my conclusions or make a qualifying comment in the report?

  So often, members of the Senate consider those reports. When they get bills—when they come to consider that particular industrial legislation, for example—they get the report and look at the conclusions of the committee. I believe that I, as is any other senator, am entitled to have in that report, if I so desire, my qualifying comment or conclusion about that particular matter. I feel that this amendment is a bit of an overreaction. Let us see how the system goes and if there is a need for something like Senator Hill's motion then let us give it further consideration later.

  Amendment negatived.