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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 109

Mr Barry Jones (LALOR, VICTORIA) -Mr Speaker,could I address you briefly on this? I quite understand the reasons that have led the Presiding Officers to turn to experts to provide some sort of format or scheme for the way the thing operates but the question is: Where is the starting point? Is the starting point the needs of members, or is the starting point the technical capacity of the experts? Mr Speaker, in the statement that you have just made, copies of which we have just received, I am concerned to see that there has been reference throughout to what the experts, the officers and the Presiding Officers will do, and so on. I hope that it will all work out for the best. Some of us are concerned about whether the starting point ought not to have been to get some kind of input- to use the jargon- from the members themselves. If experts are to be appointed and if the decision is to be made not by the Parliament as a whole but by the Presiding Officers, I hope it will be made quite clear that the inputs from members are decisive and that they will be taken at an early date.

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member proceeds to make a contribution which I hear, but I fail to understand why he does not realise that the input of members has been going on in this Parliament for very many years, both by members directly and through the Parliamentary Library Committee of which he is himself a member. It is not as though we are marching out into some uncharted area where no one knows what members want. I assure honourable members that I know very well what they want.

The question is to provide for members what they want, what will make them more efficient members and better representatives of the sovereignty of the people. That is what we want to do.

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