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Monday, 14 March 2005
Page: 50

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —The President has received a letter from Senator McLucas proposing that a definite matter of public importance be submitted to the Senate for discussion, namely:

The Howard Government’s failed ‘reforms’ of private health, under which Australians with private health insurance now face an increase of almost 8 per cent on average to their premiums, the fourth consecutive annual premium increase for private health funds, and following rises of, on average, 7.58 per cent in 2004 and 7.4 per cent in 2003.

I call upon those senators who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places.

More than the number of senators required by the standing orders having risen in their places—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I understand that informal arrangements have been made to allocate specific times to each of the speakers in today’s debate. With the concurrence of the Senate, I shall ask the clerks to set the clocks accordingly.