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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Page: 1311

Senator BARTLETT (4:19 PM) —I foreshadowed these amendments and I have spoken to them, so I will move them now. I will just clarify this; I think it is important. It has been stated that convention is that the opposition have the chair of the select committee; that is not correct. There have been a number of select committees. The very last select committee that was established before the clampdown in 2005 was chaired by Senator Allison from the crossbench. The superannuation committee that I referred to earlier that Senator Sherry was a longstanding member of—

Senator Ellison —Madam Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. Senator Bartlett is misrepresenting my remarks. I said the convention was that the person who sought the establishment of the select committee normally had the chair.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Kirk)—There is no point of order. Senator Bartlett, please continue.

Senator BARTLETT —Thank you, but that is still incorrect. The superannuation committee sat over a long period of time and it was not just the person or the party that came up with the idea that said, ‘We’re taking the chair, thank you.’ The superannuation committee chair varied, and there were chairs from both parties; it was not necessarily matched with who was in government or opposition. It appeared to me—perhaps I was being naive—that they picked the best person for the job. Senator Watson was the chair of that committee for some time because he was recognised as being extremely capable.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Bartlett, could you please just move your amendments. You have already spoken in the debate.

Senator BARTLETT —I thought I was speaking to my amendments because I could not move them earlier, because I had to foreshadow them.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Bartlett, you need leave to move your amendments.

Senator BARTLETT —by leave—Having corrected the record, I move:

   Omit paragraph (6), substitute:

   (6)   That the chair of the committee be elected by and from the members of the committee, and in the absence of agreement on the election of a chair, duly notified to the President, the allocation of the chair be determined by the Senate.

   Omit paragraph (7), substitute:

   (7)   That the Deputy chair of the committee being a member of a different party or group from the chair, be elected by and from the members of the committee immediately after the election of the chair.

Question negatived.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Ellison’s), as amended, be agreed to.