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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3456


Senator TOWNLEY(10.45) —I suggest that many of the amendments with which we are dealing are being taken on the run. There have been three amendments with regard to one section of the Bill. As I see it at the moment the Democrats do not know what the Liberal Party is doing and the Liberal Party certainly does not know what the Labor Party is doing. I think it would not be a bad idea for this country if we sought an adjournment on this motion so that the Whips, the Government and the Australian Democrats can get together and work this out. At the moment, some motions that should not be defeated most probably will be defeated, and some that should not be carried will be carried. The whole thing is getting to a quite ridiculous state. The Democrats do not know what the Liberal Party will support, although they have certainly heard from the Attorney -General which ones the Government will support.

I see that we have 14 minutes before the Senate is due to adjourn this evening. I see that I have about 13 minutes to go. I do not intend to take that time, but I do not want to see passed in this chamber legislation that is not properly thought through. I think that we should have a brief adjournment and come back later tonight. I am not saying that we should put off consideration of the legislation until tomorrow, but if we do not know quite what is happening we will have to talk this through. We could negative the adjournment or come back tomorrow or next week to fix up this thing because at the moment it is a total mess. The Attorney-General is the guy who is responsible for the mess that this country is getting into.