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Friday, 3 December 1976

Dr JENKINS (Scullin) - I wish to take a couple of minutes to comment on some of the remarks made with regard to this matter of extra sittings of the House and the importance of the procedures of the House. Mention has been made of the report of the Joint Committee on the Parliamentary Committee System and the fact that as yet it has not been debated. I join my colleagues in urging that provision is made for this to be done. It is not sufficient to give extra time to the Parliament on an ad hoc basis. It is necessary to look at the procedures of Parliament. The report of the Joint Committee was one on which members of both Houses and of all Parties worked very hard and reached a great degree of unanimity in the findings.

The honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) mentioned the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Bill as one very suitable for consideration by legislative committees. Having acted as Chairman of Committees last year when the Bill of the Labor Government was being considered and again on this occasion, I agree that this would be very proper. But I would like to accentuate that it is not just a question of legislative committees or subject matter committees. What we really should be looking at is the procedures of the House and how they can be reviewed from time to time and brought into line with the increasing legislative load and new matters that come before the House.

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