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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1868

Senator LEWIS(4.15) —I would like it to be noted that I am making this speech during the adjournment debate so that I am neither wasting broadcast time nor wasting important time of the Senate. Shortly after 5 o'clock this morning I was listening to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation breakfast show in Canberra with the excellent Mr Ralph Bain. He explained that at two minutes to nine today the ABC would commence to broadcast the Senate proceedings and he made reference to the effect that would have on the ABC ratings. Too late to do anything about it today, I wondered whether we could assist ABC ratings when we next broadcast at 9 a.m. eastern summer time, which is, of course, 6 a.m. in Western Australia.

Most radio programs intersperse talk with appropriate music. I wonder whether we could follow that precedent. Perhaps after prayers the Senate could sing the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful-All Creatures Great and Small. How pleasant it would be to have Senator Walsh interrupt one of his lengthy tirades by singing I've Got Sixpence to Last Me All My Life.

We know that Senator Gietzelt is a great admirer of the United States of America, and he might be prepared to give us a personal rendition of I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Senator Gareth Evans, of course, would be a `Monty' for That Amazing Young Man in His Flying Machine. Perhaps the Australian Labor Party women senators could form a group to be called `The Senate Sisters' and render for us Thank Heaven For Little Girls. Then the ever vocal Senator Ryan, with her great enthusiasm for private schools, might give us a solo rendition of Forty Years On. No doubt that silver tongued orator, Senator Button, could finish off for Government senators with his own version of Little Things Mean a Lot.

We could not expect the Australian Democrats and Senator Vallentine to sing, but we know that in the mornings there are young children who listen for Kindergarten of the Air and young children love scary stories. There is the solution. There is no problem at all in getting Senator Chipp and Senator Vallentine to compete with each other to tell the best scary tale about a nuclear holocaust that will destroy the world, about deformed babies and children who slowly perish as the world suffers a nuclear winter. I am sure that they could outdo the Brothers Grimm.

We would have volunteers from our side and to show the way I could recite Billy Joel's Angry Young Man to Senator Sanders and Senator Gareth Evans. Because our side is in such good voice and we are such an effective and cheerful team, we could give a stirring choral rendition of Land of Hope and Glory and end the day with God Save the Queen. I am sure that this variation of our proceedings would, on the first occasion, improve the ratings of the ABC. Thereafter, and this is the point of what I am saying, it might be better if we were to grant the ABC an additional channel for the broadcast of parliamentary proceedings.