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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2831

Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats) —by leave-I raise a point of order, Mr President. It follows on what Senator Harradine has had to say. Before the matter of urgency was discussed earlier today, the Whips put out a speaker list on which there were eight speakers. I was present during the speeches of the first five of them, but then I left the chamber temporarily to receive a phone call during the speech of the fifth speaker. The question was put forthwith. The last three speakers did not rise. Apparently there was some agreement between the Whips that those speakers would drop out. I am not alleging collusion, or whatever; I am just saying that I certainly would have called for a division on that question. Australian Democrats wanted to call for a division. Senator Harradine was disadvantaged. When we have a speakers list officially put out by Whips' offices, and suddenly three speakers do not appear, it would help the smooth running of this place if in future the Democrats and Senator Harradine could be informed of that fact so that we can adjust our schedule accordingly. I am not alleging any improper practice. It was just an unfortunate occurrence this afternoon. But I suggest that course for the future.

The PRESIDENT —I should like to point out that Senator Chipp's point was not really a point of order; it was merely a statement. I think that anyone else who wishes to speak should obtain leave to do so.