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Wednesday, 7 June 2000
Page: 14798

Senator CALVERT (12:24 PM) —I believe that Senator Hutchins during his speech made the assertion that hardly anyone in the government has experienced local government. I am not too sure what the situation with the coalition is in the other place, but in this place—

Senator Sherry —This is not a point of order.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Knowles)—Senator Calvert, to the best of my knowledge, has not raised a point of order. He is speaking to the bill.

Senator Mackay —You are not on the list!

Senator Calvert —So what!

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I would ask honourable senators to resume their seats. Someone does not have to be on a list to get a speaking—

Senator Sherry —You know the procedures of this place. You are breaking the procedures of this place.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator, if you wish to challenge the chair, I suggest you do so formally. I am trying to advise the Senate of procedure. The procedure is that a senator will be called from alternate sides. If a senator jumps on the other side and seeks the call, he or she is entitled to be given the call. I call Senator Calvert.

Senator Sherry —I rise on a point of order. My point of order goes to the understanding of the way procedures operate in this place. You well know them, and particularly the Government Whip well knows the procedures that operate in this place. If those procedures are to operate so that this chamber can operate effectively, then speakers such as Senator Calvert cannot jump the speakers list. That is well known. If we are not to follow those procedures, then this place will not operate effectively.

Senator Vanstone —On the point of order: there is normally a speakers list for each bill and, more often than not, that is followed. What you said is correct: speakers are taken from one side and then the other. During the 16 years that I have been here, if someone decides that they want to speak, they come in and, if there are no other speakers on their side and they jump, they are given the call. The speakers list is there as a means of trying to give everybody the best understanding of what is happening. This has been the case when I was in opposition and has remained the case while I have been in government. If people want to speak, they are entitled to, unless the whips have come to an agreement that there is a limited—

Senator Sherry —What is the speakers list then—an agreement between the whips?

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Sherry, Senator Vanstone has the call.

Senator Vanstone —Unless there is a formal agreement, as there sometimes is in relation to some debates that there will be a limited number of speakers who will all speak for a limited number of times, the rule remains that any senator who wants to speak can come in and get the call.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —There is no point of order, Senator Sherry. I call Senator Calvert.

Senator CALVERT —I did not want to create all this fuss and bother. All I wanted to do was put on the record, which I am entitled to do—

Senator Sherry —At the correct time.

Senator CALVERT —I point out that Senator Julian McGauran spoke a while ago and I do not see his name on the speakers list. I can tell you this as whip: speakers lists change all the time as we are going through. People drop off, people jump up the list, people come down the list. I am not particularly interested in that. All I wanted to do was to put on the record for those people who may have thought that there were no people in the Senate, in particular, who did not have local government experience that there are 10 members of this government who have been members of local government. I would like to know how many on that side of the chamber have been members of local government.