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Wednesday, 25 November 1959


Mr HAROLD HOLT (HiginbothamTreasurer) . - What is being proposed is a basic policy alteration, and it gives point to the interjection I addressed to the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam), or whoever was on his feet a little while ago, when I said that what the Opposition is trying to do in relation to this bill is to re-write the whole legislation which the Government has brought forward on this occasion. This is not the normal Opposition process of registering opposition to certain provisions. It is an attempt to take the business out of the hands of the Government and to re-write the whole bill. Here is the test of the bona fides of the Opposition on this matter: The Government bill is a bill of eight printed pages. The Opposition comes along with a string of amendments running into just on ten pages; in other words, the Opposition wants a measure of its own. If the Opposition wants a workers' compensation bill of its own to be considered by the Parliament, it can bring forward a private member's bill and deal with it in the normal way. But when we are being asked, Mr. Temporary Chairman, to accept what are basic policy alterations then I say, Sir, the Government will not adopt that course. If there are matters brought forward in debate that are worthy of subsequent consideration, they will receive that consideration, but we certainly will not re-write carefully studied and carefully prepared legislation in this manner simply to produce an Opposition bill.







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