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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2889

Senator GEORGES(10.16) —I welcome the request from the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and I am pleased to see that the Senate will accommodate the Committee.

Senator Harradine —How do you know?

Senator GEORGES —The honourable senator can object but he will be the only one who does.

The PRESIDENT —Order! We will get on with the motion, not the numbers.

Senator GEORGES —The point I wish to make is that this difficulty that committees face is increasing. I hope this morning that the sympathetic response which the Senate is likely to give to the two requests will lay the ground for the Joint Committee of Public Accounts-I am very serious about this-getting the permission of the Senate to sit for some limited time while the Senate is sitting. The Public Accounts Committee now has an added responsibility as Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle announced the other day. The Committee would expect that when it makes the request it will be sympathetically considered and permission will be given to the Committee to sit for a brief time while the Senate is sitting. If that is not going to be the case I think the Senate will have to re-examine its sitting times because it is now impossible for committees to sit during sitting weeks because of the limited time that is available to those committees. If committees are to do their work satisfactorily they need to be assisted by the Senate as a whole and need to be allowed to sit while the Senate is sitting, if we accept that their work is important which I say it is.