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MEDIA OWNERSHIP--PRINT MEDIA--FOREIGN OWNERSHIP DECISIONS--SELECT
COMMITTEE--INSTRUCTION TO COMMITTEE

Motion determined as not formal: Senator Alston requested that General

Business notice of motion no. 1402 standing in his name for this day,

relating to media ownership, be taken as formal.

An objection was raised and the motion was not proceeded with as a

formal motion.

Statements by leave: The Minister for the Environment, Sport and

Territories (Senator Faulkner) and Senators Panizza and Alston, by

leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Alston, at the request of the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Hill) and pursuant to

contingent notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be

suspended as would prevent Senator Hill moving a motion relating to the

conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to give

precedence to General Business notice of motion no. 1402 standing in the

name of Senator Alston for this day, relating to media ownership.

Debate ensued.

Question put.

The Senate divided--

AYES, 39

Abetz Alston Baume Bell Boswell Bourne Brownhill Campbell Chapman Coulter Crane Crichton-Browne Ellison Ferguson Gibson Harradine Herron Hill Kernot Knowles Lees Macdonald, Ian Macdonald, Sandy MacGibbon McGauran Minchin O'Chee (Teller) Panizza Parer Patterson Reid Short Tambling Teague Tierney Troeth Vanstone Woodley Woods

NOES, 27

Beahan Bolkus Burns Carr Chamarette Childs Coates Colston Cook Cooney Crowley Denman Evans, Christopher Evans, Gareth Faulkner Foreman (Teller) Forshaw Jones McKiernan McMullan Margetts Murphy Neal Reynolds Schacht Sherry West

Question agreed to.

Senator Alston, at the request of Senator Hill, moved--That General

Business notice of motion no. 1402 standing in the name of Senator

Alston for this day, relating to media ownership, may be moved

immediately and have precedence over all other business this day till

determined.

Question put and passed.

Senator Alston moved--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) has repeatedly alleged

that there has been a secret deal between the Leader of

the Opposition (Mr Howard) and Mr Kerry Packer, and

(ii) the Minister for Communications and the Arts (Mr Lee)

has, in effect, reiterated this allegation by asserting

that the Prime Minister has firm evidence that links Mr

Howard to a secret deal;

(b) expresses its grave concern that neither the Prime Minister nor

the Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided any

evidence to support their allegations of a secret deal; and

(c) calls on the Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Foreign

Ownership Decisions in relation to the Print Media to invite the

Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications and the Arts

to provide it with any evidence that they have to support these

allegations.

Debate ensued.

The Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Kernot) moved the

following amendment:

At end of motion add:

"(d) directs that, in the event that the Prime Minister and Minister

for Communications and the Arts provide the committee with

evidence, the Leader of the Opposition then be invited to

refute such evidence."

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put.

The Senate divided--

AYES, 38

Abetz Alston Baume Bell Boswell Bourne Brownhill Chapman Coulter Crane Crichton-Browne Ellison Ferguson Gibson Harradine Herron Hill Kernot Knowles Lees Macdonald, Ian Macdonald, Sandy MacGibbon McGauran Newman O'Chee Panizza (Teller) Parer Patterson Reid Short Tambling Teague Tierney Troeth Vanstone Woodley Woods

NOES, 24

Beahan Bolkus Burns (Teller) Carr Chamarette Childs Coates Collins Colston Cook Cooney Crowley Evans, Christopher Faulkner Foreman Forshaw Margetts Murphy Neal Ray Reynolds Schacht Sherry West

Question agreed to.