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Wednesday, 27 October 1971
Page: 2579

Mr SWARTZ (Darling Downs) (Minister for National Development) - I move:

That standing order 103 (eleven o'clock rule) be suspended until the end of this period of sittings.

The reason for introducing this motion at this time is that a number of Bills under the new process for handling the business of the House have come into the House at an early point of time. A large number of Bills are listed for handling today. While many of the Bills that are listed appear to occupy a fair amount of space on the notice paper, they are in fact Bills which require little debate. The indications are that there will be little debate on a number of the Bills, particularly some of those listed for debate today. We have already had a position in which, by co-operation from the Opposition, which I acknowledge, on one occasion we were able to introduce some new business after 11 o'clock. Also, the week before last we had a problem with appropriation and there was some difficulty in getting on to one measure. I think we made the time by about 2 seconds.

This situation can arise again, particularly in relation to a relatively large number of small measures. In the case of a cognate debate, if the debate is continuing after 11 o'clock and the debate on the first Bill has been concluded, unless this motion is carried it will not be possible to deal with the other cognate Bills at that time. This is the principal reason for the introduction of this motion. I may say that a substantial number of Bills - just a few more than average - is being handled during this sitting. There will be, in addition to the Bills that will be debated during this sitting, a number of Bills introduced to the second reading stage and left on the notice paper, as is becoming customary now, for consideration in the next sitting. But in view of the circumstances I think it far better to be handling the volume of business that we are handling rather than having the complication of a bank-up of business at the end of the sitting: So for the various reasons I have outlined, and acknowledging the co-operation of the Opposition already on 2 occasions, I ask for the support of the House in relation to this motion.

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