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Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Page: 91

Senator FAULKNER (3:47 PM) —by leave—I move:

That the Senate take note of the documents.

I will speak very briefly to the motion and indicate that I welcome the tabling of this memorandum of understanding and the associated guideline. The proposal for the memorandum of understanding was put forward by the House of Representatives in a report from its privileges committee in October 1995. I understand that the committee acted on the suggestion of former President of the Senate Michael Beahan. The Senate Standing Committee on Privileges first became involved in 1999 when it tabled the 75th report, which included a declaration of support for the proposal. Since that time the committee as well as the President and his predecessors have been actively engaged in the process of creating the memorandum of understanding throughout its long gestation period. I thought it appropriate that we acknowledge those facts today. I think this is a very important step forward, one that will be of great benefit to both chambers and all parliamentarians in this place.