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PETITIONS

The following petitions, presented by the Senators indicated, were received and read:

Senator Robertson, on behalf of Senator Coates, from 49 citizens of Australia praying that no means test be imposed on users of child-care services.

Senator Chipp, from 13 citizens of Australia praying that the Government continue funding the Institute of Early Childhood Development as an autonomous institution.

Senator McLaren, from 23 citizens of Australia praying that the Government urgently review railway freight increases imposed in South Australia by Australian National Railways; ensure a reduction of freight and parcel rates; and encourage greater public utilisation of rail services.

Senator Sibraa, from 18 citizens of Australia praying that the Government provide funds for the preservation of South West Tasmania but not for development works such as dams or roads.

Senator Hearn, from 58 citizens of Australia praying that the Government prevent any downgrading of postal services to the citizens of Australia.

Senator Childs, from 884 citizens of Australia praying that a supplementary grant of $1.18 million for the performing arts be given to the Australia Council, and that funding for the Theatre Works Company be reinstated.

Senator Hearn, from 60 citizens of Australia praying that the Government not increase or impose sales taxes on printed goods or paper products but instead introduce a resource rental tax for foreign mining companies.

Senator Gietzelt, from 25 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate support or initiate a Federal inquiry into proposed development in South West Tasmania, and not allow funds to be allocated for the construction of dams in that region.

Senator McLaren, from 40 citizens of Australia praying that the Government extend the generous terms of Commonwealth home loans granted to two Ministers to the thousands of young couples suffering undue hardship because of high interest rates.

Senator Hearn, from 29 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate reject any proposal to sell Trans Australia Airlines.

The following petitions, presented by the Senators indicated, were received:

Senator Coates, from 15 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate take steps to remove from the Commonwealth Electoral Act provisions compelling electors to express a preference for all candidates at Senate elections.

Senator Childs, from 26 citizens of Australia, similar in wording to the petition presented by Senator Gietzelt.

Senator McLaren, from 22 citizens of Australia, similar in wording to the petition presented by Senator Hearn relating to the sale of Trans Australia Airlines.

The following petitions, lodged with the Clerk by the Senators indicated, were received.

Senators Baume, Ryan and Robertson, from 45, 104 and 106 citizens of Australia, respectively, praying that the Government increase pensions and benefits to at least thirty per cent of the national average weekly male earnings; remove the means and income tests for pensioner health benefits; re-introduce Medibank; and provide $200 million for State housing authorities.

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle, from 100 citizens of Australia praying that sales tax not be imposed on books, educational materials, or other basic consumer items.

Senator Baume, from 73 citizens of Australia praying that the Government prevent the downgrading or closure of a certain post office.

Senators Baume and Jessop, from 15 and 18 citizens of Australia, respectively, praying that the Government prevent any downgrading of postal services to the citizens of Australia.

Senators Baume and Jessop, from 26 and 46 citizens of Australia, respectively, similar in wording to the petition presented by Senator Gietzelt.