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Wednesday, 28 October 1964
Page: 1385

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) .- I wish to refer to Division No. 113 - Maintenance of Ministers' and Members' Rooms. The other night in the Senate I referred, during discussion on the estimates for the Department of Supply, to the amount of rent that is paid by the Federal Government in respect of various accommodation. Tonight I take leave to suggest, from a little local knowledge, that economy might be effected in regard to the expenditure in respect of Division No. 113. It seems to me that the Department which has the responsibility for maintaining the rooms of Ministers, senators and members of the House of Representatives is under an obligation to review the situation from time to time to determine the accommodation needed by members of the Parliament in order to discharge their duties.

I ask the Minister to take note of this request because I believe that out of consideration for Ministers, senators and members of the House of Representatives, it is assumed that a continuation of accommodation is necessary from year to year. Naturally, each member of Parliament should have respect paid to any implied or expressed judgment he has in relation to the necessity for retaining accommodation and rooms, but there should bc proper recognition of the independence of judgment to which a member is entitled. I bring to the notice of the Minister what in my view, from a little local experience, is the need for a periodical reassessment of the situation - perhaps once every three years - to see that the accommodation provided is not in surplus to the actual requirements for Parliamentary duties. I do not wish to be drawn into a detailed and invidious account of particular items at the moment, but wish simply to offer my suggestion.

Senator Marriott - When the honorable senator alludes to local knowledge he puts every Tasmanian member under a cloud.

Senator WRIGHT__ Senator Marriott'sapprehension is not well founded. I leave it in the delicate terms in which I assayed my contribution.

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