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Tuesday, 28 February 1984
Page: 47


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(6.12) —Sessional order 4 is opposed for the reasons that I outlined earlier. It is the same argument that related to sessional order 3. The proposed sessional order 4 restricts the time available for a matter of public importance to one hour on the Friday of week one and on the Thursday of week two. For the reasons I have outlined, we believe that is a restriction which should not be imposed. Because I understand that the Australian Democrats will not support our amendment, I do not propose to call a division. Nevertheless, I wish to add some words, about which there is no dispute, about the time when notice is to be given of a proposed matter of public importance or urgency. I move:

That, unless otherwise ordered and notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders, the written statement of the proposed matter of public importance or urgency shall be handed in to the President not later than 12.30 p .m. on each sitting day.

This would bring us into general line with the practice in the other place, and I think it is fair to both the Opposition and the Government in terms of avoiding those early mornings that Senator Button mentioned.