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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2503

Senator HARRADINE (5.45 p.m.) —In respect of disallowance motions, standing order 78(3) says:

  If another Senator, at any time after the giving of such notice of intention and before the withdrawal of the notice of motion, indicates to the Senate an objection to the withdrawal of the notice of motion, that Senator's name shall be put on the notice of motion, the name of the Senator who wishes to withdraw the notice of motion shall be removed from it, and it shall not be withdrawn; but if no Senator so objects to the withdrawal of the notice of motion, it may be withdrawn in accordance with such notice of intention.

This motion appears to me on the face of it to deny any other senator that particular right which is contained in the standing orders. I have only just seen this motion, and it has just occurred to me that that is a problem, to be quite frank. Under normal circumstances, as standing order 78(1) says:

  A Senator who wishes to withdraw a notice of motion standing in the Senator's name to disallow, disapprove or declare void and of no effect any instrument made under the authority of any Act which provides for . . . shall give notice to the Senate of the intention to withdraw the notice of motion.

If under normal circumstances this had been done, Senator Colston would have been required to give notice of intention to withdraw and then, under standing order 78(3), any other senator could object and therefore that would not be withdrawn. Do honourable senators follow?

  Under this particular procedure that we are following here, the right of such a senator is in fact denied, it appears to me. Unless this is a motion which sort of gives intention to do certain things, I suppose this motion could be regarded as giving intention to withdraw. But it is not giving intention to withdraw; it is giving intention to possibly withdraw. That is not what standing order 78 says.

  No doubt this has all been cleared and sussed out properly—I am just speaking off the top of my head—and wiser heads will prevail. I am not going to kick up a fuss about this, but perhaps we ought to have a look at it in future.