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Tuesday, 6 November 1973

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I understand that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Cavanagh) is taking advantage of an indication I gave that the Opposition would not grant leave for the third reading to proceed forthwith. The reasons for that were given when the Bill was introduced. The Opposition objected to the cavalier way in which this Bill was rushed through the House of Representitives without proper opportunity for debate. We know that that has happened from time to time in regard to a number of Bills. We indicated then that the Opposition, be it in the House of Representitives or on the Senate, ought to have the opportunity to give proper consideration to the measures placed before it. Proper consideration was not able to be given in the other place and we indicated as clearly as possible, when this Bill was brought into this place and a similar motion was defeated, that in the circumstances we would oppose the suspension of Standing Orders for the carriage of this Bill. We adhere to that attitude.

I sense that the Minister wants to put this matter to the vote- a situation which I know we have sought to avoid in this place for a long time. We indicated our attitude when the Bill came in we shall adhere to it. The Minister has the alternative of simply giving notice that he will make the motion for the third' reading of the Bill an order of the day for the next day of sitting. That is his right. However, we will oppose a motion for the suspension of Standing Orders at this stage.

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