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Tuesday, 26 February 1985
Page: 206

Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(5.40) —I understand that there has been agreement among all the parties and Senator Harradine that we should move to have a vote on this legislation tonight before the punch up. I have agreed with Senator Chaney to limit my remarks, which were going to be extensive, to three or four minutes. I want to make virtually two points. I am disappointed that my Bill is not going to get the support in terms of a vote of those honourable senators who have expressed agreement with it. They have expressed agreement with its purpose and even its clauses but they say, because I introduced it, because it is a Democrat Bill, they cannot vote for it notwithstanding the fact that is probably one of the most important Bills ever to be brought before an Australian parliament. Whatever their motives, whatever their reasons for saying that, I accept at this stage, and understand when it comes to a vote, that there will be six senators on one side of the House and all other senators on the other side. I make this appeal to honourable senators who said that they agree with the Bill: If they do not like voting for my Bill, they should bring in their own Bill and the Democrats will vote for it. I do not think we can be fairer than that. But I say this: We can give those honourable senators only four weeks to do so. If after four or five weeks they have not availed themselves of that opportunity, we will introduce another Bill in almost identical terms to the one that is now before the Senate. I do not think we can be fairer than that.

Senator Tate, in his speech, introduced a very interesting element on the civil liberties aspect of clause 6. We take his point that anything that is a gross infringement of civil liberties should be amended accordingly. We will certainly agree with any amendment to clause 6 which is to Senator Tate's satisfaction and which is contained in a Bill introduced by those Labor senators who believe in the thrust of our legislation. If those Labor senators do not introduce legislation within four or five weeks, the legislation which the Australian Democrats will introduce will accommodate Senator Tate's wishes. I am grateful to those honourable senators who made an objective contribution to the debate and I commend the Bill to the Senate. I ask the Senate to vote against the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Chaney) and the amendment foreshadowed by Senator Gareth Evans.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —It may be of assistance to the Senate if I explain the procedures which will now apply to the resolution of matters before this Chair. The original motion before the Chair is that the Bill be read a second time. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Chaney) has moved an amendment to leave out all words after 'That' and to insert other words. The Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Gareth Evans, has foreshadowed an amendment to the words proposed to be inserted by Senator Chaney's amendment. This amendment cannot be moved until after the Senate has decided whether to leave out the words proposed to be left out by Senator Chaney's amendment. The first question to be put from the Chair will therefore be that the words proposed to be left out by Senator Chaney's amendment be left out. If this should be agreed to, the next question will be that the words proposed to be inserted be inserted. At that stage Senator Gareth Evans's foreshadowed amendment may be moved and dealt with. I will now put the first question that the words proposed to be left out by Senator Chaney's-

Senator Chipp —If the first motion is carried you will put the second motion that the words to be inserted be inserted?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —At that point Senator Gareth Evans's amendment to those words may be moved if he so wishes.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Chaney's amendment) be left out.