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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1793

Mr TURNER (Bradfield) - I will express myself in a few words. I do not think this debate needs a great deal of elaboration. This is not a new found enthusiasm of mine for adequate parliamentary debate. This is a point of view I have adopted for years, even against my own Party when it was in office. I ask you, Mr Speaker, to accept that I speak now with sincerity and not for party advantage. I appreciate that that may be regarded as a stupid and unusual thing to do in this House. The Leader of the House (Mr Daly) has excused what he has done on the basis of a list he produced a few minutes ago showing the time allotted for amendment of industrial arbitration Bills over a period of 20 years. It is most important for us to realise that the Bill before us represents a fundamental change in the law, and the kind of argument produced by the Leader of the House has no validity whatever in this instance.

Already the point has been made that the time allotted on the last occasion of a fundamental change in industrial arbitration legislation was twice as much as the time allotted on this occasion. The Leader of the House has fulfilled my belief in what has happened to the Parliament. It has become a mere rubber stamp for the Executive and is not the great forum of the nation where debate is carried on. This Parliament has handed over that function to the Press, television and other media which seek simply to entertain and not to debate. This is a decline and fall of this institution which is signalised with peculiar emphasis on the present occasion.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Daly's) be agreed to.

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