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Thursday, 8 December 1983
Page: 3491

Senator MACKLIN(12.26) —I wish to refer only briefly to the points raised by Senator Lewis. As Senator Lewis is a member of the Opposition, I presume he may well have been speaking on behalf of the Opposition. I would certainly like to hear from the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Chaney) or the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Durack) in relation to the points raised by Senator Lewis. If Senator Lewis wishes to take that particular stance, we will certainly accommodate the Opposition by in fact not discussing matters with its members, if that is what it wants. I remind Senator Lewis, who sits on the back bench and does not frequently involve himself in legislation, that it is an important part of the process of legislation that discussions be held with all parties. We engage in such discusions at all times. If the Opposition wishes to exclude itself from such discussions, I would be happy to accommodate it. I would save a hell of a lot of time.

Senator Missen —He was not speaking for the Opposition; he was speaking for himself.

Senator MACKLIN —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is here. I want to hear from him whether he accepts what Senator Lewis said. If he does accept what Senator Lewis said, I, for one, will not be discussing matters in future with anybody from the Opposition. In fact only about 10 minutes ago I was holding discussions with Senator Peter Baume on the States grants legislation. I will refuse in future to do anything of the kind.