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PRIVILEGES—STANDING COMMITTEE—STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT—PROPOSED REFERENCE

The President made a statement relating to a matter of privilege raised by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee concerning alleged improper interference with a witness and a possible contempt of the Senate.

The President informed the Senate that, pursuant to the procedures provided by standing order 81 and resolutions of the Senate of 25 February 1988, he had determined that a motion relating to the matter may have precedence of all other business on the day for which the notice is given.

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Document: The President tabled the following document:

 Privileges—Standing Committee—Proposed reference—Letter from the Chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (Senator Barnett) to the President, dated 7 September 2009.

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Notice of motion: The Chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (Senator Barnett) gave a notice of motion as follows: To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges:

 Having regard to the report of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee on a possible contempt in relation to a witness to the committee's inquiry into access to justice, whether there was any interference with, or imposition of a penalty on, a witness before that committee, or any threat or attempt to carry out those acts, and whether any contempt was committed in that regard.