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Labor/Democrat alliance blocks Senate referendum scrutiny



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MEDIA RELEASES E N A T O R FRED C H A N E Y LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE CO :iVO\*'.',E/\LVH PARLIAME.NΊ AR f v

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LABOR/DEMOCRAT ALLIANCE BLOCKS SENATE REFERENDUM SCRUTINY

The Government remained in confusion today about the problems with the Fair Elections referendum Bill uncovered by Senator Amanda Vanstone last Friday.

Legal advice confirmed Senator Van stone's view that the Bill was not compatible with the Government's ACT self-government proposal. By Monday, the Government had admitted its error and produced an amendment.

Yesterday, the Opposition received legal advice confirming that the Government's amendment was itself defective. The Government refused to release the explanatory memorandum which had been prepared, saying a better document was required.

Today, the Democrats circulated a further amendment and the Government advised that it had dropped its amendment and would support the Democrat proposal.

No time was allowed for scrutiny and the proposal was dealt with without debate under the guillotine procedures forced on the Senate by a Labor-Democrat alliance. .

This outrageous disregard for parliamentary responsibility means the Australian people are saddled with changed legislation which has not been properly scrutinised. '

The Labor-Democrat coalition has also succeeded in foisting on Australians a series of dishonestly-phrased referendum questions which conceal the Government's true motives.

The Liberal and National Parties moved amendments to change the deliberately misleading titles of two of the four referendum Bills. These titles become the questions which will appear on ballot papers when the vote is taken later this year.

The Democrats voted with Labor to defeat the Opposition amendments. They now share the guilt of trying to hoodwink the electorate on the referendums.

CANBERRA 1 June 1988

Contacts Keith Kessell— (Ό62) 726380

006939