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The Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Messner), at the request of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir John Carrick) and pursuant to notice, moved-That the Sessional Orders relating to the precedence of Government and General Business and the consideration of Government Papers be amended to read as follows:

(1) Government and General Business-Precedence: On all sitting days of the Senate, unless otherwise ordered, Government Business shall take precedence of General Business, except that General Business shall take precedence of Government Business on Thursdays, after 4.30 p.m.; and that, unless otherwise ordered, General Orders of the Day shall take precedence of General Notices of Motion on alternate Thursdays.

(2) Consideration of Government Papers:

(a) Unless otherwise ordered and notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders, on Thursdays no petitions may be presented, and, prior to Formal Motions, Papers may be presented by Ministers. Upon the presentation of such Papers a Senator may move, without notice, that the Senate take note of one , or several, of the Papers. Senators may not speak to any such motion for more than ten minutes, and consideration of any such motion shall be interrupted after the expiration of 90 minutes or at 1.00 p.m., whichever is the earlier.

(b) Provided that, if the consideration of all such motions has not extended for 90 minutes at 1.00 p.m., debate on any such motion interrupted at 1.00 p.m. may be continued at 4.30 p.m., and further such motions may be moved and debated, and such debate shall take precedence of other General Business until the consideration of all such motions has extended for 90 minutes, or until there is no further debate.

(c) Where debates on motions moved under the provisions of this Sessional Order are adjourned and are called on in the normal course of business, Senators who have spoken to the questions under the provisions of this Sessional Order may again speak for the time allowed under Standing Order 407A.

Question-put and passed.