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Monday, 29 February 2016
Page: 1238

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (10:43): I think strictly I should seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, but I think we just have general agreement that leave is granted.

Senator BRANDIS: Mr President, on behalf of the government, might I thank you for this statement and for the careful consideration which you have obviously given to the various submissions that have been placed before you. The government supports your decision to refer this matter to the Procedure Committee. We will be mindful of the statement that you have made, and we will pursue the issue of quotation in the Procedure Committee.

It seems to me, if I may say so with respect to other senators, that it is not appropriate to ask you to interpret to the Senate or to place a gloss upon a statement which you have just delivered after careful deliberation. So we of the government do not ask you to do that; we accept the statement in the terms in which it has been given, and, in determining the way in which we will be compliant with it, we will take the statement as it is read.