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Wednesday, 18 September 1985
Page: 721


Senator KILGARIFF —by leave-The only thing I wish to add to the debate is that no arrangement was made within the Whips' meeting today regarding the sittings tomorrow but an undertaking was given that the leaders were going to discuss the situation. It was my understanding that the leaders were discussing the possibility of the Senate Estimates committees sitting in the morning and in the afternoon the Senate would meet again when there would be the normal formalities such as Question Time and so on. I repeat that no arrangement was made at the Whips' meeting, but the suggestion was made that the matter should be considered by the leaders. One would have thought that this would have been a very reasonable idea because everybody-senators and the nation-is awaiting the tax paper with interest. It would have been a very good idea if the Estimates committees could have sat in the morning. The Senate could have met in the afternoon, received the tax paper and taken the matter from there. But the Senate will rise tomorrow morning at some stage and will not be able to consider the paper for some two or three weeks. That is most unusual. Quite obviously the Government is afraid to allow the Senate to consider the paper. One would have thought that it was the right of the Senate to be able to consider the tax paper. I suggest that this incident is akin to the time when the Budget was introduced. Having been introduced, the Senate rose for two weeks without giving honourable senators the opportunity to consider it within a reasonable time.