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Thursday, 8 December 1983
Page: 3486


Senator MACKLIN(11.41) —I did not want to contribute to what I believe has become a very poor debate in many ways, but we have had a series of accusations of bad faith all around. I believe the various people who have contributed to this debate have all done so on the basis that the propositions they have put forward most accurately represent what this constitutional question was all about. Undoubtedly there will be divergent views about that matter. For example, I personally am opposed to this referendum question, but I believe one must try to transcend one's views and try to get a reasonable and fair proposition. In looking at the ones we have before us I must admit that I find them all, in various ways, fair and reasonable representations of what it is that we are on about, and that is essentially the absurd problem of having a Committee debate when such debate ought to have been had elsewhere. We really cannot get to a reasonable and sensible conclusion in this type of atmosphere in this Committee. Therefore I must admit that personally I am drawn to Senator Missen's proposal, which seems to me to be a fair and reasonable representation of the situation, but the Government's proposition is technically correct. In that case it seems that the choice which one is forced to make between one and the other is really quite invidious. I am still interested as to what the Government's response might be to Senator Missen's proposal, but at this time we are discussing Senator Harradine's proposal. I indicate that we will not be supporting it.