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Wednesday, 16 May 1973
Page: 2182


Mr DALY (Grayndler) ('Leader of the House) - I move:

That the time allotted in connection with the Bills be as follows:

(1)   Pipeline Authority Bill 1973- for all stages of the Bill, until 5.45 p.m. this day,;

(2)   Prices Justification Bill 1973- for all stages of the Bill, until 3.4S p.m. on Thursday, 17 May;

(3)   Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973- for all stages of the Bill, notwithstanding the order of the House of 1 March, until 10 p.m. on Thursday, 17 May, and

(4)   Seas and Submerged Lands (Royalty on Minerals) Bill 1973- for all stages of the Bill, notwithstanding the order of the House of 1 March, until 10.15 p.m. on Thursday, 17 May.

The. purpose of this motion is tq give priority to important legislation introduced into the Parliament by the Government. There is no doubt whatever that the Bills mentioned are of the greatest importance nationally and internationally and as such deserve priority consideration by this Parliament and the gentlemen in another place.

The first measure to be discussed will be the Pipeline Authority Bill 1973. It is not a complex Bill but it is a very important one giving effect to a promise in the GovernorGeneral's Speech that in pursuance of its policy for maximising Australian ownership, control, use and development of Australian resources, the Government would introduce legislation to establish a pipeline authority. Its importance cannot be over estimated and it truly comes under the designation of an urgent Bill.

The Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973 seeks to remove any doubt about the exclusive right to the Commonwealth to sovereign control over the resources of the seabed off the coast of Australia and its Territories, from the low water mark to the outer limits of the. continental shelf. Over 3 years ago, on 16 April 1970, the former Government presented its Territorial Sea and Continental Shelf Bill, and everybody who spoke on the Bill agreed that it was urgent and of national interest. Similar remarks apply also to the Prices Justification Bill 1973 and the Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973 that are covered in my motion.

I am completely unmoved by the crocodile tears of honourable members opposite, particularly the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth). Today the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) stated that the previous Government had never moved the guillotine during the course of the last Parliament. I have the Hansard report of 4 May 1971, which shows that 17 Bills went through this House in 19 hours. One of the honourable members who voted for the course followed at that time was the. honourable member for Mackellar. Let us have a look at the setup concerning the Australian Country Party. A period of 5 minutes was allowed for debating all stages of the Loan (Farmers' Debt Adjustment) Bill. Hie time allowed in connection with some of the other Bills was as follows: Seamen's Compensation Bill - for all stages, 5 minutes, Air Accidents (Commonwealth Liability) Bill - for all stages, 5 minutes; and the United States Naval Communication Station (Civil Employees) Bill - for all stages, 5 minutes.

The honourable member for Mackellar voted for the motion which sets out the allotment of time in connection with those Bills, as also did the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr Nixon) and all the saviours of democracy who sit opposite. For the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Bill (No. 2) 1970, a period of 30 minutes was allowed for the second reading stage and a period of 5 minutes for the remaining stage. This is what was done by the previous Government, supporters of which now talk about democracy. Why, under my motion a period of 12 hours is to be allowed for debate on 4 Bills. If time had not been wasted by honourable members opposite, they could have had days on which to speak to these Bills. We have no intention of following the infamous example of our predecessors. We are giving honourable members opposite a legitimate amount of time in which to debate these 4 Bills. With the permission of the House, I should like to incorporate in my speech the Hansard report which indicates the conduct of the previous Government.







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