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Thursday, 27 February 1975
Page: 887

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Leader of the House) -I move:

(   1 ) That the House, at its rising, adjourn until tomorrow at half-past nine o'clock a.m., and

(2)   That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the House, unless otherwise ordered, giving precedence over all other business for that day to the Family Law Bill 1974.

I speak briefly on this matter to outline to honourable members that the purpose of this extra sitting day is to give those honourable members who are still to speak in the debate on the second reading of the Family Law Bill and the amendment moved thereto the time to do so. I gave some forewarning of the possible need for additional days for such matters as the Family Law Bill when the days and hours of sitting were debated earlier in this session and also when I made a brief statement on this matter last Thursday. The motion provides for the House to meet tomorrow at 9.30 a.m. and to deal solely with the Family Law Bill. I hope that all speakers on the list for the Bill can speak tomorrow and the House can be adjourned by approximately 4.30 p.m. I also indicate to the House that no vote on the Bill will be taken tomorrow and that the opportunity will be given later in the sittings on an ordinary sitting day for honourable members to make their decision even if the debate should finish tomorrow.

This Bill has created, as honourable members know, great public interest. The Bill contains a total of about 123 clauses. I think there are 40 to 50 amendments already circulated and proposed to be moved in the Committee stage. It is a Bill on which probably many more honourable members will want to express themselves. The practical situation is that it will be impossible to debate this measure as it should be debated in the ordinary business time of the Parliament. Not only will tomorrow be one of those extra sitting days that may be necessary but there may be others before the session finishes. I hope therefore to receive the co-operation of honourable members in this proposal as I feel this Bill is of such importance and has created such interest amongst the public that this Parliament should at the earliest opportunity express its views one way or the other. It is true that tomorrow there will not be any question time but in view of the way in which honourable members opposite used that time this morning I do not think they will miss it much. All those goody-goodies opposite who always obey the Speaker will not miss question time because they have on each occasion endeavoured to disrupt it. Come what may, I believe that tomorrow is a day that should be set aside exclusively for this Bill. I do not intend to delay the House.

Mr Nixon - Why did you rat on your mate?

Mr DALY - I can only assume that the honourable member who interjected does not want to express his point of view on the Bill and does not want to debate it. In any case, I do not intend to hold up the business of the House on this matter. I have formally moved the motion and I hope that it will be carried unanimously.

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