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Wednesday, 24 October 1984
Page: 2394

Senator MASON(11.27) —Mr President, on behalf of the Australian Democrats I join you and my colleagues in wishing Mr Roberts a very happy and contented retirement from this hectic and difficult place. Under his leadership the Hansard staff has continued to provide a reporting service of a very high standard. I have been particularly impressed by Hansard's attention to detail. For example, I recall a consultation I had with them last week on how one can most accurately spell the word 'Liboral'. This high standard has been achieved in spite of difficulties caused by the substantial increase in parliamentary committee activity, including the tendency for committees to sit during sittings of the Houses, the recently introduced practice of the Senate and House of Representatives of not scheduling a break for lunch on Thursdays and the current sitting pattern which concentrates sittings into eight consecutive working days at a time instead of nine days spread over a period of three weeks, as previously. I have no doubt that the Hansard staff regards this as an excess of zeal; sometimes I do myself. However, I can only say at this stage that Mr Roberts has done an excellent job in his position. We wish him well for the future.