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Tuesday, 9 November 1971
Page: 3136


Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) - The Opposition accepts the technical necessity for this measure which arises to some extent from the longer time that has so far been given to the discussion of the Estimates this year. We support that, too. In a sense the Bill may point to the need to revise the procedure in this chamber in the future. I commend to the Treasurer (Mr Snedden) the practice that is followed in the British House of Commons where the Estimates actually come in before the Budget. This allows a longer time for the consideration of the Estimates, separate from the Budget debate, in which principle, economic strategy and fiscal matters are discussed. I suggest that in the future he might look at this with a view to changing the procedures here. After all, to some extent, the fact that we have done things in a certain way for years is no reason why we should continue to do them that way.

I suppose the other alternative would be to vote Supply for 6 months instead of five. That also would require careful consideration. The Opposition appreciates that until the Estimates are passed by both Houses - by the Senate as well as ourselves - the Government will be in some difficulty as from 1st December. It seems to us that the remedy for this is all that the Bill encompasses. For that reason we support the speedy passage of the Bill, but I ask that in future the procedure be reconsidered.







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