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Tuesday, 12 May 1998
Page: 2579

The PRESIDENT —As senators would probably know, a number of Senate staff in the Table Office continues to work for some time after the Senate adjourns each night—in order to process legislation dealt with that day, to finalise the Journal of the Senate for that day and the Notice Paper for the next day, and to prepare motions and papers for the next day. This work usually takes one or two hours after the Senate rises.

On Thursday, 9 April 1998 the Senate adjourned at 2.26 a.m., after finalising its consideration on the Native Title Amendment Bill 1997 [No. 2] and completing an adjourn ment debate. Several Table Office staff continued to work after that time in order to prepare the schedule of the Senate's amendments to the native title bill and to have it ready for the House of Representatives when it met later that morning.

I would now like to recognise the work and dedication of those staff. The three members of the team which finalised the Journals for that day—Richard Pye, Stephanie Holden and Jenny Sawkins, finished work variously between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., having started at 8 a.m. on the previous day, and with Richard Pye delivering the hard copy version of the Journals to the printer on his way home at about 3 a.m.

Staff working on the native title legislation were Rosa Ferranda, Terry Brown, Sue Blunden and Naomie Kaub, who worked until between 3.30 a.m. and 4.30 a.m., also having started at 8.30 a.m. the previous day. Rosa Ferranda, in fact, did not finish until after 5 a.m. when she hand delivered the message on the bill and the Senate's schedule of amendments to a House of Representatives officer. Gordon Kimber from the Senate printing unit also stayed back until 5 a.m. in order to print copies of the schedule, which ran to some 40 pages, ready for distribution in the House of Representatives. John Vander Wyk also worked until 5.30 a.m. but he prepared the rest of the note for me and did not include his own details.

While all senators will acknowledge the high standard of work of Senate staff, I think it important that we also recognise from time to time the dedication of staff which makes them willing to put in the long hours necessary to complete the work of this Senate. This, of course, applies not only to Table Office staff but also to those in all offices of the Senate including, in particular, the committee and procedure offices.