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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3060


Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) -May I seek your indulgence, Mr Speaker, to ask a question?


Mr SPEAKER - Yes.


Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Is it the case that approximately two-thirds of the members of the House failed to take advantage of the opportunity which you, Mr Speaker, extended to them to show enthusiasm for the proposition which was the subject of the ballot? In what way do you derive a sense of imprimatur to proceed along the lines that you propose?


Mr SPEAKER - All members were entitled to record their votes. My information, as conveyed to me by the Leader of the Opposition, was that members of the Austraiian Labor Party opted not to vote, although I believe some small number in fact did vote before the decision not to vote was taken in the Labor Party Caucus. Accordingly, those who did not vote decided to do so for a reason which I am not privy to, although it comes out in a letter to me by the Leader of the Opposition referred to in the remarks he made today. Apparently members of the Australian Labor Party collectively believed that there was a need for greater reform than that which I proposed. I dealt with that this morning as it was raised by the Leader of the Opposition. Eighty people voted. As the honourable gentleman knows a clear majority of 47 voted in favour of the proposition of a committee and 32 voted against the proposal. I am, therefore, pursuing the course that I have announced to the House under the direction of that ballot. I will write to the Party Whips asking them to nominate members to serve on that Speakers comittee. I have already indicated- I will do what I do not like Ministers doing and repeat myself- that issues of broader reform are matters for discussion between those with party political affiliations with the Leader of the House and the Manager of the Opposition Business.







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