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Thursday, 8 December 1983
Page: 3483


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(11.15) —I have just one short matter relating to the honesty and integrity of the Government's proposal which I omitted to mention in the course of my somewhat less than totally temperate contribution to the debate earlier this morning. I just want to put on the record that on the authority of both the red and green 'Bibles' that we employ in this place and the other place, I believe it is perfectly proper for the question on the referendum ballot papers relating to the parliamentary terms proposal to refer to the maximum life of parliaments. On page 163 of Odgers Australian Senate Practice it is stated:

The life of a Parliament . . . is regarded as the duration of the House of Representatives for the time being.

The same point is made by Pettifer in House of Representatives Practice at page 118 and also at page 243 where it is stated:

The Senate . . . does not officially include itself in the description of what constitutes the life of a Parliament.

There is a further reference in Odgers but not in Pettifer to the proposition that parliaments are numbered according to the number of the newly elected House of Representatives. That is in a sense stating the obvious.


Senator Chipp —You are introducing a whole new debate.


Senator GARETH EVANS —I am not intending to do that, Senator Chipp. Since integrity and honesty keeps being-


Senator Chipp —You will bring another five of them to their feet.


Senator GARETH EVANS —That may be so but I think it is important when the integrity of the Government is being impugned, as Senator Chipp would appreciate , at least to put those propositions on the record without any further argument.