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Wednesday, 18 September 1985
Page: 721

Senator HAINES —by leave-Mr Deputy President, I wish to make a brief statement.

Senator Chaney —A brief declaration of support.

Senator HAINES —I am sorry, but it is not going to be a declaration of support for sitting tomorrow afternoon to discuss this paper.

Senator Puplick —Thank heavens for that. I thought that you were going to go on about adhering to principles.

Senator HAINES —No. I am sure the honourable senator means thank heavens because those who have not already caught their planes in the afternoon can now catch their planes home. This matter was discussed this morning in our Party room and I know that the leaders have discussed it. We do not support the idea that the Senate sit again tomorrow afternoon simply to discuss this paper, about which there has been so much speculation and discussion already. As I have explained outside the chamber to members of the other parties, the paper will be discussed fully in the House of Representatives where, as far as the Opposition parties are concerned, their point will be made rather forcefully by Mr Howard and presumably anybody else in his Party who wishes to make a point.

Anything that is said in the Senate, particularly on a non-broadcast day, is superfluous. As far as we are concerned, I would have thought that there may have been some reason to have a say and to have our position made perfectly clear by putting it in Hansard. I can assure the Senate that we will see fit to make our position clear in other areas. There is absolutely no point at all in keeping the Senate back for extra time, and changing the Estimates committee arrangements, simply in order for a number of Liberal senators to grandstand on an issue that will be well covered by their colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Grimes's) be agreed to.