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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5326


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (9.45 p.m.) —Read clause 31(4). If there is an objection by the native title parties concerned, the arbitral body determines whether the act is an act attracting the expedited procedure. It determines whether or not those criteria are satisfied.

  I draw the attention of the committee to the fact that in the course of this debate we have ranged over, I think, almost every single definition in the last part of the bill. I hope that will be remembered if and when we ever get up to those definitional provisions, because we want to avoid endlessly—


Senator Campbell —Are you suggesting that we adopt an expedited procedure when we deal with the definitions?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I am just reminding honourable senators that if and when the mood is around or others share my mood in favour of an expedited procedure, I would wish it to be noted that in this unmercifully protracted debate, particularly on clauses 26 to 39, which has taken since 11.45 p.m.—


Senator Vanstone —But we are on 31. We have moved quite well since dinner.


Senator GARETH EVANS —We have moved through about three clauses since dinner.


Senator Vanstone —Well, we only did one up until then.


Senator GARETH EVANS —It is a 9.45 p.m. There are a mere 207 clauses to go after clause 31. Let us try to move it along, shall we?


Senator Vanstone —Both sides perhaps.


Senator GARETH EVANS —Do you want me to answer your rotten questions or not?