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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2849

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Minister for Services and Property) - I would like to reply briefly to the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) who moved the amendment. The amendment seeks to make the terms of Austraiian Capital Territory and Northern Territory senators half the term of State senators - that is for 3 years from 1 July. I think that that is broadly the interpretation of the amendment. Whilst this would be a workable proposition, it is quite in conflict with the concept and policy of the Australian Labor Party which is that elections for senators and for the House of Representatives should coincide. Consequently the amendment is not acceptable te the Government.

In answer to the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron), let me say that our legal advisers, who were no doubt the same advisers as those whs advised the previous Government and who gave it the best of legal advice, have advised us that the size of this House will not be increased if we increase the size of the Senate by these 4 senators. So his argument is completely dispelled. There is to be no intention on the part of this Government to flout the constitutional advice that we have been given. Furthermore, if he thinks that this is part of a sinister plot of the Labor Party completely to dominate and control the Parliament by the election of these senators, I suggest that he should have a chat with the President of the Liberal Party in the Australian Capital Territory who thinks that it is a first class Bill and that it should be introduced by the Opposition side of the House even if the Government did not do it in this session.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Remainder of Bill - by leave - taken as a whole.

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