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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 1320


Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) -Why has noindication been given by the Government as to when the election is to be held? This is a matter of some seriousness to the Parliament. Surely this childish approach to the programming of Parliament has gone on long enough and the Parliament is entitled to be told when the election will be held and what the programme is for the Parliament. I am not criticisng the Acting Leader of the Government (Senator Drake-Brockman), but he has now moved that the time for consideration of the Estimates be extended to 26th October so that the Estimates Committees may report before then or, if they wish, they need not report until 26th October. Surely the Parliament should not be subjected to this infantile approach to the affairs of state. We should be told in plain terms what the programme is for the Parliament so that people can order their business, the Committees can order their business properly and a reasonable programme can be made, not only in regard to the conduct of affairs here but also so that the approach to the people of Australia may be made in a sensible and rational way. One would expect that in Australia, as well as in other countries, it would be the only intelligent approach to such an affair of state, instead of this behaviour which I have described as infantile, this cat and mouse behaviour with regard to the election date. I repeat that I am not condemning the Acting Leader of the Government for this. However, I suggest, in view of his motion, that it is time this nonsense was stopped and the Parliament and people were told the projected date of the election so that we may determine a proper programme for the conduct of the Parliament.







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