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Tuesday, 18 May 1993
Page: 669

  Debate resumed from 17 December 1992, on motion by Senator McMullan:

  That this Bill be now read a second time.

  Senator Reid—Mr President, before you call Senator Vanstone, could I ask when Senator Bolkus will be coming to the chamber. I note that he is not here yet. He is the relevant Minister who should, of course, be interested in hearing Senator Vanstone's speech.

The PRESIDENT —It is not a matter that I am in charge of. I can ask Senator Faulkner whether he has any knowledge of that.

  Senator Faulkner—I understand, Mr President, that he is unable to be in the chamber at this time.

  Senator Reid—Perhaps we should go on with some other Bill until Senator Bolkus is available. I was not aware that he would not be here this morning.

  Senator Vanstone—We are not going to legislate by remote control. He is in charge; he should damn well be here. I would not expect him to necessarily want to listen to what I have to say.

  Senator Jones—Mr President, could I make a comment. While I know that Senator Bolkus would dearly love to be here to listen to Senator Vanstone, the chamber must recognise that Ministers do have other duties and, because of those other duties, Senator Bolkus cannot be here at this stage.

The PRESIDENT —Order! The position at the moment is that the Bill has been called on. The Minister has not moved that it be adjourned. Therefore, I call Senator Vanstone.

  Debate (on motion by Senator Reid) adjourned.