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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2811


Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate) (3.20 p.m.) —I can understand Senator Hill's synthetic passion when he sees an issue slipping from his grasp. I can understand that and I do not blame him for it. But what Senator Hill as so-called Leader of the Opposition in this place is doing is condoning any one of his backbenchers jumping up at the end of Question Time and saying, `I seek leave to take note of an answer to a question'. He has done that two or three times in the past week. If that is the procedure which Senator Hill is condoning in the Senate, it is an absolute disgrace. Senator Bishop gets up and asks for leave to take note of an answer to a question. She does not tell us which question or which answer. Senator Hill has to do that and make his—


Senator Newman —We are sick and tired of your drifting around.


Senator BUTTON —I know that Senator Newman is sick and tired of this. She has been sitting on the Opposition benches for nine years now and I know that she is sick and tired of it. I can understand her being sick and tired of it, but she will be a damned sight more sick and tired of it by the time she is finished. However, the point is that any senator who jumps up and seeks leave to take note of an answer and speak to it wrecks the Senate's procedures if that sort of thing happens on a regular basis. If Senator Bishop wants to get something off her chest again—we are being broadcast so she will want to do it today—I will grant her leave.