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Tuesday, 30 April 1968


Dr PATTERSON (Dawson) - The Opposition, of course, welcomes the amendment. As the honourable member for Grayndler (Mr Daly) has pointed out, it is simply a colossal pinch from the Australian Labor Party's policy with respect to the Northern Territory. On 19th March it was announced that a Bill would be introduced to give the member for the Northern Territory full voting rights after the next election. Within one week, after it became known that the Labor Party intended to move an amendment along the lines of the one now before us, the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) said in answer to a Dorothy Dix question that the member for the Northern Territory would be given full voting rights immediately the legislation was passed. There is no way of avoiding the conclusion that the Government is either guilty of colossal inefficiency or cannot draft a Bill properly. It should not take 20 years to arrive at a decision to give a vote to the honourable member for the Northern Territory, only to find out that it has omitted a most important clause from the Bill. Within 3 or 4 days of the Bill being introduced the Government suddenly discovered that this provision had been omitted, that is, if the views that have been put forward by the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) are authentic. I suppose that he will say that it was because of representations made by the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder).


Mr Snedden - No, it was because of your representation.







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