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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 154

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Kingsford) (Smith) - I am not anxious to be pedantic about it, but I do not know what arrangements were made. I made the point today that we do not believe we should co-operate in these matters.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The Deputy Leader of the Opposition was given the call on the assumption that he was continuing the debate. The House did indicate, at the request of the Chair, that it consented to the continuation of the debate.

Mr LIONEL BOWEN -I understand that the leader on my side did consent, but I have not had a chance to discuss it with him. However, the Bill is purely a machinery matter. It relates to the use of computerised phototypesetting instead of the hot metal process. It is a technical matter which has no legal significance whatsoever. It just means that the marginal notes will become sectional headings and that there will be what are called endnotes, which will probably facilitate the general production of legislation. To that extent we have no objection to the Bill. It is in accordance with the recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Publications.

Might I say that the Government asked for our consent to introduce this legislation this week. We readily gave it and today we readily indicated that we would allow the measure to go through this evening. That was before we knew that the Government proposed not to allow us to have matters of public importance discussed in the normal way.

Mr Viner - That is not right.

Mr LIONEL BOWEN -I assure the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs that it will be right from here on. If we had known when we had our party meeting today that we were not going to have matters of public importance dealt with we would not have been impressed to think that the Government was asking for our cooperation to push through legislation. We are always anxious to co-operate in matters that affect effective legislation and the Government, but if the rights of members are going to be denied we may have to insist that matters be looked at in a more rigorous fashion. Having said that, and recognising that the leader on this side has made an arrangement- it is not our practice to break any arrangement- I merely say that we have no objection to the legislation.

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