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PETITIONS

The following petitions, presented by the Senators indicated, were received and read: Senator Robertson, on behalf of Senator Bolkus, from 44 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate extend to the unemployed the benefits for pharmaceutical, optical and other entitlements under the Health Care Card system .

Senator McLaren, from 19 citizens of South 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.

The following petitions, lodged with the Clerk by the Senators indicated, were received: Senator Primmer, from 52 citizens of Australia praying that the amount of income allowed to be earned by pensioners before fringe benefits are cut off or pension is reduced be increased.

Senator Baume, from 474 citizens of Australia praying that the Government prevent the downgrading or closure of a certain Australian post office.

Senator Colston, from 66 citizens of Australia praying that the Government undertake television rating surveys during holiday periods to encourage the broadcasting of quality television programmes at those times.

Senator Teague, from 203 citizens of Australia praying that the Parliament refrain from enacting any plant variety rights legislation, and hold a public enquiry into the impact of existing overseas plant variety rights schemes on the Australian seed industry.

Senator Martin, from 266 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate reject the proposed sales tax on books, magazines and newspapers.

Senator McLaren, from 66 citizens of Australia praying that the Family Law Act and the Marriage Act be amended to strengthen the institution of marriage.

Senator Sibraa, from 75 citizens of Australia praying that the Senate legislate to prevent the unauthorised scrutiny of patients' medical records.