Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26281

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Western Australia—Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (10.06 a.m.)—by leave—I move the motion as amended:

That, on Thursday, 12 August 2004:

(a) the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm to adjournment;

(b) if the Senate is sitting at midnight, the sitting of the Senate shall be suspended till 9 am on Friday, 13 August 2004;

(c) consideration of general business and consideration of committee reports, government responses and Auditor-General's reports under standing order 62(1) and (2) shall not be proceeded with;

(d) the routine of business from not later than 4.30 pm shall be government business only;

(e) divisions may take place after 4.30 pm.

I would like to make a short statement about the logic of doing that. The government has made it quite clear that it wants to complete debate on the free trade agreement implementation legislation. We would like to have that done this week. Clearly that is achievable but it may well not be achievable within the hours we are currently constrained by. That is the reason for this motion. It is also the government's intention—and I have communicated this to all parties this morning—to have consideration of, and a vote on, the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004. I am currently in negotiations over one other bill, the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Prisoner Voting and Other Measures) Bill 2004. I will continue those discussions but I want to make it absolutely clear to all senators what the government's intentions are.

This motion would have the effect of allowing the Senate to debate government business until a time when we move for an adjournment of the Senate, and it will enable us to deal with those bills: the free trade agreement legislation, which we have been considering for some time over the last week or two, the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 and possibly one other bill. I have just started discussions about perhaps having the second reading debate on the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Prisoner Voting and Other Measures) Bill 2004 during the luncheon break. That would not preclude anyone who wanted to speak on that bill speaking at another time but it would mean that anyone who wanted to speak on it could do so. There would, of course, be no votes and no quorums called, as usual. I commend the motion to the Senate.