Title Constitutional Commission "kow tows" to Government
Database Press Releases
Date 04-05-1988
Source Shadow Attorney-General
Author REITH, Peter
Citation Id HPR03005642
Speech No
System Id media/pressrel/HPR03005642

Constitutional Commission "kow tows" to Government


The Shadow Attorney-General, Mr. -Peter Reith, today announced that the Constitutional Commission ·is expected to release tomorrow a special report as a prelude to the introduction by the Government of four referendum bills at a special sitting of the Parliament on 10 May. He said the Commission's action is a blatant and biased attempt to support Labor's referendum bills.

Mr. Reith said that his office had been advised by the Secretary of the Constitutional Commission, Mr. Ian Cunliffe, that part one of the Commission's final report should be released tomorrow.

Mr. Reith said that, while he had no knowledge of the contents of the report, he would be surprised if it did not canvas the question of the terms of the two Houses of Parliament. *

It is clear the Commission would drop its proposal for a fixed term which it announced in October, 1987. The Commission had ~ proposed that the House of Representatives have a minimum life of 3 years and a maximum life of 4 years.

The Government has indicated that one of the referendum bills to be introduced next week would provide for maximum 4 year terms for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mr. Reith said he expected that tomorrow's report would indicate that the Commission had conveniently fallen into line with the Government.

Mr. Reith said that this would be yet another confirmation that the supposedly independent Constitutional Commission is in fact working hand in hand with the Government in an attempt to ensure that Labor's agenda for constitutional reform is achieved.

4 May 1988

Contact Peter Reith - 059 793188