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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3451


Senator LEWIS(10.12) —I move:

(3) Proposed new clause 28A, proposed Forms 1, 2 and 3, leave out '2: PARLIAMENTARY TERMS: To extend the maximum life of Parliaments from 3 to 4 years .' (wherever occurring), insert '2: PARLIAMENTARY TERMS: To extend the maximum terms of members of the House of Representatives from 3 to 4 years and of senators from 6 to 8 years.'.

It is obvious that there is considerable concern about the expression of the question on the parliamentary referendum proposal in relation to parliamentary terms as indicated by the three proposals. I intend to be very brief. I am sure that we have all read the proposals and understand what we are talking about. However, for the sake of people listening perhaps on the radio, although I should not imagine there are many left listening to this sort of debate, the proposal put by the Government is that instead of the long title of the Bill there is the short title 'PARLIAMENTARY TERMS' followed by the words 'To extend the maximum life of Parliaments from 3 to 4 years'. My proposal is that instead of that, the expression should read: 'PARLIAMENTARY TERMS: To extend the maximum terms of members of the House of Representatives from 3 to 4 years and of senators from 6 to 8 years'. The reason is fairly obvious. The Government's proposal, as it stands, makes no mention of the fact that senators would end up with terms of eight years. My proposal would make that quite clear.