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Thursday, 10 October 1996
Page: 3882


Senator HARRADINE(11.39 a.m.) —I oppose that motion. A number of matters have come before this chamber which have been outstanding for some considerable time. I voted for the suspension of standing orders because ultimately I believe that this matter ought to come before the chamber before it is due to come before the chamber—but not now. This particular motion is to have this matter take precedence over all of the other matters that are before the chamber and I do not agree with that. I agree that it ought to be dealt with today at some stage, but there are other matters that have been on the Notice Paper for a considerable period of time, not least of which are the disallowance motions put forward by Senator Bolkus.

We in this chamber have a number of responsibilities both within and outside the chamber and I believe that there should be some understanding by members of the opposition, by the Australian Democrats, by the Greens and by the government that these responsibilities require an enormous amount of time. It is no good having a situation where we do not know from one minute to the next what is going to happen in this chamber. One is trying to discuss matters with advisers and with other people about a range of issues and one is waiting to see when matters such as Senator Bolkus's disallowance motions are going to be debated.

Frankly, I would prefer to have this matter come on immediately after we dispose of the matter that has been going on for two or three days, namely the disallowance motion, if that is the desire of Senator Woodley. I want to get it out of the road.


Senator McKiernan —I have been here all morning—waiting.


Senator HARRADINE —I waited half the day too, but I feel, in all fairness, that if we could get that one out of the road then we could come back to yours.