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Wednesday, 2 May 1984
Page: 1464


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(11.06) —I move:

That the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Given the outcome of the vote that has just gone to a division, I am of course philosophical about the chances of that motion succeeding, but I move it to make the point that there is simply no justification whatsoever for the debate on the Insurance Contracts Bill being adjourned in the way it has now been adjourned by a combination of the Liberal Party of Australia, the National Party of Australia and the Australian Democrats. The Bill has been before the Parliament for some months. It was introduced in the latter part of last year. It is true that there is a substantial number of amendments which have only recently come to fruition and have only recently been made available to the Opposition party spokesmen. I fully appreciate that more time for consideration of those amendments might have been required before the Committee stage of this debate was brought to finality, but there would appear to be no justification for delaying at least the completion of the second reading debate in order to enable honourable senators to consider the general principles of this very important reform legislation. I simply make the point that we have been treated to another example of obstruction by the Opposition and the Democrats of the legitimate course of the Government's parliamentary business in this place.