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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26173

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3:51 PM) —Pursuant to contingent notice, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Hill moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion to vary the hours of meeting and routine of business for today.

The government has a program that it has sought to have votes on during this fortnight. We are still on the first item on that legislative program, the enabling legislation for the free trade agreement. We have an enormous number of amendments to that bill. There has been very slow progress made with that bill and the government seeks to get passage of that bill and to allow the Senate to deal with other legislation in the time remaining during this fortnight. Clearly, based on the time that has been taken on the free trade agreement legislation to date, that legislation needs far more time than we would have ever imagined. The proposal is simply to seek to conclude debate on those pieces of legislation which enable the free trade agreement with the United States to have passage this evening. The proposal is simply that the Senate sit late tonight to enable that.