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Thursday, 14 June 1984
Page: 3032

Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate)(3.23) —in reply -I am sorry that what we thought was a very constructive suggestion aroused so much concern. We did try to take into account the views of a number of people, those who would not sit on Monday and those who did not want to come back on Tuesday, those who wanted the program to be completed--

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle —Those who like being here.

Senator BUTTON —And those who like being here, as Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle says. All those views have been taken into account. Of course, we indicated earlier in the week when I gave notice of this motion that we were concerned to get the program finished this week. Since then we have been told by people that a Monday sitting is not on and that other people have engagements during next week. There are very important questions of cost and so on involved.

Senator Watson —Who increased the size of the Parliament?

Senator BUTTON —I refer to the cost of this Senate and the cost of Senator Watson. If one looks in a constructive way at the list of business which remains , one can see that it has probably been somewhat blown up in importance and length of time required when we look at what else has been happening. For example, this afternoon we will debate videos for, I think, the fifth time.

Senator Durack —That's because the Attorney-General doesn't understand them yet.

Senator BUTTON —Pornographic videos are Senator Durack's big go, I know. But I do not see why the Senate should be delayed yet again in order that he might indulge himself with his favourite topic.

Some of the other Bills which must be dealt with will be of very short duration . There may be one or two which the Government can remove from the program. I shall discuss that; but that will be a matter about which we shall be able to advise the Senate in due course. At this time of year there are always difficulties about programs. One always gets reactions of one kind or another. If we approach the program with goodwill, there is no reason why the Senate should not complete its deliberations on Friday night. But, if that is not possible, on Saturday night.

Senator Chaney —And if that is not possible?

Senator BUTTON —If that is not possible, on Monday.

Question put:

That the amendment (Senator Chaney's) be agreed to.