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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1851


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - Having gained a point through the last motion that Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson moved I hope I may get another victory when I finish my speech tonight. I am opposing this motion because it would take me more than half an hour to castigate the Government, the Minister and the Department of Health for their supine attitudes to smoking. Therefore I feel that I am entitled to have more than half an hour. I would be prepared to go along with the half an hour proposition if broadcasting time speeches were reduced to 20 minutes. I say that because we in this corner never get a chance to speak on broadcasting days at reasonable times. We are very often offered a slot on Wednesdays, but it is usually for 10.30 pm.


Senator Cavanagh - Are you here, Senator?


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I am here enough.


Senator Young - Have you ever come to me as Government Whip and requested a time?


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - No. I gave it up a long time before you were Government Whip.


Senator Young - Then do not point the finger at me.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I did not mention you.


Senator Byrne - Art you speaking for the other 2 independent senators also?


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - No, we are strictly independent, but I am solid in my Party about this matter. I have found in the 10 years that I have been here that to jet a good slot on a broadcasting night is impossible. I am asked to speak when someone is wanted to fill in at 10.30 p.m., when it is a complete waste of time. Quite often a member would prefer to speak on a nonbroadcasting day when he has a lot to say. He knows that then he has longer than half an hour. If senators are to reduce our time to half an hour on non-broadcasting days they must also reduce the times on the other day unless, of course, the Deputy President will give another assurance that independent senators will always have the call when they rise and will not be told what to do by the 2 Party Whips.







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