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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3447

Senator MISSEN(9.51) —I would like very briefly to say that as far as possible we should try to keep near to the words of the long titles of these various alteration Bills. We should only really alter them away from what is in the Bills--

Senator Gareth Evans —Do you want to delete the last bit of my sentence?

Senator MISSEN —No. I think the Attorney's sentence is generally a much more accurate description of the legislation in this case. It is better in that it shows the effect the proposal has with regard to the Senate, which the long title does not do. I think Senator Walters's alternative brings in new concepts, new words like 'the power of the government'. That is weighted somewhat in the context of the referendum. In fact, it is a matter of ensuring that elections are held at the one time, on the one day. I think Senator Harradine has an excellent point in that it is possible that people may confuse this with the fixed terms proposal. People may think that having elections on the same day means on the same day every three or four years or something like that.

Senator Gareth Evans —Or at the same time every three or four years.

Senator MISSEN —I am saying that the words of the Constitution Alteration ( Simultaneous Elections) Bill do use the word 'time' and not 'day'. In any event, we should stick to that as far as possible unless there is good reason to act to the contrary. I think good reason for so acting is the possible confusion in people's minds when we use the word 'day'. They may think the meaning is somewhat different from what is intended. I support Senator Harradine's amendment.