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Wednesday, 11 August 1999
Page: 7223

Senator FAULKNER (9:38 AM) —Madam Chair, before we commence the committee stage debate, can I ask for the cooperation of the committee in relation to the general issue of the handling of the committee stage debate. It goes to the issue of when we might deal with the question of the long title of the bill. You might seek advice on this, but I certainly understand that the issue of the long title may well in the ordinary course of events be dealt with at the conclusion of the committee stage of the debate. Given that the Senate standing orders are clear on that point, the point I would like to make to the committee in a general sense before we commence the committee stage debate is that we do have a circumstance here where the long title actually informs the debate. I think from all sides of the chamber and all sides of the argument there would be general agreement about that. It does seem to me in this instance that we might look, either with leave of the committee or with cooperation of those participating in the committee stage debate, that on this occasion, in the interests of facilitating the debate, we deal with the question of the long title first. I do not want to place that procedural conundrum before you so early in the day—

The CHAIRMAN —I have an answer, Senator.

Senator FAULKNER —Thank you. But I think most senators agree that it is an important threshold issue before we move into more general debate in the committee.

The CHAIRMAN —Standing orders require that the title is normally the last item dealt with in the committee stage. However, it is up to the committee itself, if it is the wish of the committee, to deal with the amendments and the issues in whatever order it so wishes. If the committee wishes to deal with the title first then, if there is leave to do so, the bill having been taken as a whole, it can be done. We do now have a running sheet, too, I am told.