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Wednesday, 13 May 1987
Page: 3051


Mr YOUNG (Leader of the House)(10.01) —I move:

That, unless otherwise ordered-

(1) standing order 48a (adjournment of House), as amended by sessional order, be suspended for this sitting;

(2) the House, at its rising, adjourn until tomorrow at 9 a.m., and

(3) government business take precedence of general business for the next sitting.

The suspension does away with the automatic adjournment to enable the Treasurer (Mr Keating) to deliver the May statement at 7.30 tonight. The motion also provides for a 9 a.m. start tomorrow, in order to give precedence to government business and, as I have informed the Opposition, it is basically for the introduction of new legislation, which will be dealt with in the week when we return. It will also extend the time available for debate on the very important imputation package, which honourable members have required, including the introduction of the all-important industrial relations legislation and a number of Bills associated with the May statement. Also, of course, provision is being made for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Howard) to respond to the May statement tomorrow night. This means that we should still be able to get somewhere in the vicinity of seven hours of debate on the imputation legislation. As honourable members know, this week's sitting has been additional to the sitting weeks originally scheduled when we came back for this session of parliament. I am told by the Manager of Opposition Business, the honourable member for North Sydney (Mr Spender), that he would prefer to extend the sittings to include next week-so we could sit six weeks straight.


Mr Goodluck —No!


Mr YOUNG —I know that the honourable member for Franklin expresses the view of all honourable members in this House. Members do have other obligations outside the Parliament in terms of looking after their electorate and occasionally seeing their families. So, the Parliament will not be sitting next week, but in relation to the week when we return, it is envisaged that two days will be available for debate on the industrial relations package and two days will be put aside to deal with the legislation which may arise from the May statement. All that legislation is essential and it must be passed, according to the resolution of the Senate, by 1 June.

So, we are on track in terms of dealing with the legislation before the House. As usual, the Government is conducting the affairs of this House very efficiently. I thank the honourable members opposite who have been telephoning and congratulating me on the way in which I am conducting the affairs of the House. They have all had plenty of time in which to debate these major issues. These arrangements are agreeable to those members opposite who pressured me into ensuring that we would not sit next week so that they could return to their electorates and do some of their electorate work, so that they could massage their electorates in preparation for the coming election, and also so that they could see their families-which is not an unimportant issue. The Labor Party, which stands for the family, wants to see honourable members return home occasionally. We do not want to see them sitting here all the time, with their wives and children living at home in isolation. It is not very easy on them, and, although some honourable members opposite might like to stay here all the time, we are thinking of their wives and kids at home, so we are not sitting next week.