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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 72

Senator DURACK(7.25) —Pursuant to Standing Order 196a, I move:

That the Trade Practices Amendment Bill 1985 be referred to the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs for inquiry and report.

Normal procedures are that at this stage of the consideration of the Bill the Senate may refer it to a committee for further consideration in lieu of the ordinary Committee of the Whole proceedings. Ordinarily the Senate would now move into a Committee of the Whole. The view of the Opposition, which I indicated during the second reading debate, is that it would be more appropriate if this Bill were dealt with by a committee. Although we are not absolutely firm on the matter, it seems that the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs is an appropriate Committee to deal with it. One of the difficulties with this Bill is that it deals with fairly complex legal matters. Although it deals with business affairs, consumer interests and so on, nevertheless as a result of the operation of the Act for some 12 years many aspects of it have become very complex and technical legal matters.

A number of the amendments which have been proposed to the Bill raise questions of a technical character which would prolong the consideration of the Committee of the Whole a great deal and which would be very much more suitable for consideration by a committee of senators than a Committee of the Whole. I imagine that a great majority of honourable senators will find that the time of the Senate will be taken up with lengthy and rather technical debates when the Senate would prefer to debate matters of a more political nature. It would be very time wasting for honourable senators, who would have to wait around while the Senate's time was taken up, hour after hour, with committee-type considerations, as I said, most of which would be of a very technical kind and not of a very political kind, although some of them may be. The other consideration is this--

Senator Gareth Evans —You are talking out time.

Senator DURACK —I am certainly not talking out time. Why would I want to do that? I am trying to save time by proposing that this Bill be sent off to a committee.

Debate interrupted.