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Wednesday, 26 June 1996
Page: 2259

The PRESIDENT —I present a report on my visit earlier this month to Zambia for the Third Southern African Workshop on Parliamentary Procedure and Practice. I also present a copy of an address I made to the South African Senate entitled, `The role of the second chamber: the Australian perspective'.

I only intend to speak for a couple of minutes to introduce this and then I will table the report. I was privileged to be invited to attend the CPA. I accepted an invitation by the CPA to participate as a resource person in the third of a series of workshops for southern African parliamentarians in Lusaka, Zambia—one of the better things the CPA does, I have to say.

Following this, I accepted a long-standing invitation from the President of the South African Senate, Kobie Coetsee, to address the Senate. They are very interested in the Australian Senate and how we operate. They are very interested in making closer contact with us. They are going through constitutional changes now, which they are interested in debating with us.

So as not to hold up the government business, I will not speak at any length to this. But the report deals with, firstly, the CPA workshop and an assessment of that; secondly, the deteriorating political situation in Zambia, which I think is very serious—senators interested in that region should have a look at my comments—and, thirdly, comments on the visit to South Africa, general comments about the political situation there and also a copy of my address to the Senate.

It was a very great privilege to address the Senate from inside the chamber and to answer questions asked of me there and then to have further debates with senators individually after that. I will leave it at that, and table the report.