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Monday, 31 March 1980
Page: 1204

The PRESIDENT - I put the question:

That the motion be agreed to.

Senator Georges - Mr President,I take a point of order on a matter of procedure. If the Opposition has refused to deal with Bills concurrently, it has been the practice that they be dealt with separately. I hope that we will not be forced to a division on this motion.

Senator Cavanagh - Mr President,I take a point of order. The Standing Orders set out specifically how motions before the Senate shall be dealt with. They shall be moved, seconded and put. It is only with the agreement of all parties that we have permitted Bills to be discussed together in the past. I cannot see anything in the Standing Orders that permits Bills to be taken together if there is opposition from someone in the Senate to that being done.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Government puts a motion.

Senator Cavanagh - I do not think that a motion contrary to Standing Orders can be moved. When the Standing Orders set out the procedure, I do not know whether any honourable senator has the power to move a motion contrary to that procedure. That is made clear when an honourable senator wants to discuss one of the Bills proposed to be dealt with cognately without the others. We have dealt with many Bills together when their likeness has been such that they can be discussed together. But when Bills are taken together it may well be that a particular point that an honourable senator wants to make on one of the Bills is swallowed up in the debate. I ask that these Bills be dealt with as the Standing Orders provide.

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