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Monday, 9 September 1996
Page: 3083

Senator HILL (Minister for the Environment) —by leave—Fortunately, this does not happen all that often, but I understand that practice has been that, when a senator has missed a division through circumstances beyond his or her control, the Senate has normally been prepared to take the vote again. Senators within this building have a right to expect the bells to ring and the colours to show, otherwise we would all have to sit in the chamber all day. Obviously, that is not desirable.

The press gallery is obviously part of the building. If for some technical reason the bells were not ringing, I would respectfully suggest to other parties that they might allow the vote to be retaken.

The CHAIRMAN —The only standing order that I can find which is near to what happened is standing order 104, which says:

In case of confusion or error concerning the numbers reported, unless it can be otherwise corrected, the Senate shall proceed to another division.

That is not quite the current situation, but I understand that leave would be required to recommit the division or the question.