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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3227


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(4.18) —I join with the Leader of the Government (Senator Button) in wishing a happy Christmas to all honourable senators and those who serve in this place. However, I leave with a feeling of deep regret about the Christmas present that was given to us by the Australian Democrats, who have consistently voted against every committee reference over the past week or more and who today gagged us in respect of a committee reference which they sought and on which they voted with the Government. I think that was a very unfortunate end to the session and certainly it will be a day or two before I regain my Christmas cheer. This is not the time to air that further, Mr Deputy President, and I thank you for looking after the chamber in the absence of the President. I extend to the President on behalf of the Opposition our continued good wishes for his speedy recovery. We regret the fact that he has been absent, and we hope that he will have a very cheerful and restful Christmas and an early return to full duties.