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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1959

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Government in the Senate) - I move:

That, unless otherwise ordered, for the remainder of the present period of sittings:

(   1 ) The days and times of meeting of the Senate be-

Tuesdays- 1 1.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Wednesdays- 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m., 8.00 p.m. to 1 1.00 p.m.

Thursdays- 10. 15 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

(2)   The Sessional Order relating to the adjournment of the Senate have effect at the terminating time each day.

This means that for the remainder of this sessional period we will be sitting, in addition to the present times, from 1 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and we will be commencing at 10.15 a.m. instead of 1 1 a.m. on Thursdays. An extra 4.25 hours sitting time will be involved. It is hoped that we will get the advantage of General Business on Thursday nights if we move each Thursday to do so. It is not included in the motion but I give an intimation now that on the remaining Thursdays of the present sittings I will be moving that General Business be postponed.

Senator Byrne - Can the honourable senator give any indication of when the Senate is likely to rise?

Senator MURPHY -Some time after 6 December. I am not sure whether any formal intimation has been given in the other place. I shall do the best I can without accepting any commitment. I understand that there is an endeavour in the other place to rise on 6 December. That may not be possible. But if it is this would mean that the Senate would get up at the usual time- whatever that may be- after then, taking into account the way in which we are dealing with our business and all of the other relevant circumstances.

The intention of this motion is to increase the time of the sittings for the Senate. There may be some individual differences among honourable senators in regard to the terms of the motion but I understand that it is generally acceptable that we should alter the times so that we can get more sitting time.

Senator Wood - At what time would we finish on Thursdays?

Senator MURPHY -At 7 p.m. The program that I have put forward means that each of the 3 days will be fairly long ones. It should be rememberedbecause sometimes this is not considered by people outside this place- that even when the Senate concludes at 7 p.m. honourable senators may still have to attend committee meetings. For example, the suggestion is that we should start at 10.15 a.m. on Thursdays because the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances normally meets on Thursday mornings. Other committees also have to meet. For all of us the start of the day here will be at or before 9 a.m. The motion deals only with formal meetings of the whole Senate which take place in this chamber.

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