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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 263

The PRESIDENT (16:06): Just before you go into the substance: you are seeking leave to amend the motion. Leave is not granted, Senator Culleton. Others are still seeking leave to speak on this matter. I just want to make a statement first.

The Procedure Committee in June 2011 determined that the discovery of formal business was just that: the discovery of formal business, and not a free-range debate. Over a period of time, what has happened is that senators are seeking leave to interrupt formality or the discovery of formal business, where matters are supposed to go through the chamber at a relatively easy pace without debate. We are now getting into a de facto debate, and we are getting other amendments added to this.

Secondly, and it has just been evident in the chamber, it is common practice—and courtesy, but common practice—that if you do have other material that you wish to introduce, such as tabling of other documents, then at least the whips of parties are consulted first, and then you will find that there will be a free flow, and you will have an indication prior. So I will just remind you of those two points, and that might facilitate debate in the chamber and also take us back to what discovery of formal business is all about. There are other places to debate these matters in a more fulsome way.