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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1995

Senator WITHERS (Western AustraliaLeader of the Opposition) - I have had circulated the amendment which, during my speech in the second reading debate, I mentioned I would be moving at the Committee stage. The amendment still favours the Capital Hill site and it dennes in precise terms what ought to be in the parliamentary zone. That is the basis of the amendment. I put it to honourable senators that whether this amendment ought to be carried or lost has nothing whatever to do with whether the site of the new parliament house should be Camp Hill or Capital Hill. That decision ought to come as a result, perhaps, of a later amendment. Whether or not this amendment is carried one assumes that some honourable senator will move an amendment either to the Bill as amended or to the original Bill, to strike out the words 'Capital Hill' and insert the words 'Camp Hill'. That is where that argument should lie- in relation to the amendment. The amendment I am putting, with respect Mr Chairman, concerns whether or not we ought to be more definitive as to the area which should reside within the parliamentary zone. I gave arguments concerning that in the debate on the second reading.

It has been put to me by some of my colleagues on both sides of the chamber that perhaps we ought not indulge in amending the Bill because if the Bill were amended either in this form or another form then that amendment would have to go back by message to the House of Representatives. It might sit on the bottom of the notice paper until the Parliament is prorogued. Alternatively it might not be disposed of within a reasonable time. I think the same argument can be put in reply to my proposal for an amendment as would be put to those who would wish to insert the words 'Camp Hill' instead of "Capital Hill ', That is that it is better to have a better Bill than to have a not so good Bill. I imagine the Camp Hill addicts would argue, as I am now arguing, that it is better not to have a Bill at all than to have a bad Bill. Therefore, it is worth taking the risk. I do not say 'bad' in an offensive sense.

I believe that we need to be very careful because once this Bill is passed, even if it is passed in its original form, it will most probably be the last opportunity the Parliament will have to pass an opinion on this matter. It will be very difficult in the future if we make a mistake at this stage for a private member to bring in an amending

Bill. It is for those quite simple reasons that I promote the amendment. The amendment basically only extends the area over which the Parliament ought to exercise control. The Bill, as presented by Senator Poyser, extends control in a fairly simple way over Camp Hill and Capital Hill. The purpose of my amendment is to extend control over the whole of what is generally termed the Parliamentary Triangle', which will take the area down the 2 avenues to the lakeside.

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