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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2317

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - Mr Chairman, I wish to speak of what we are about to do today. As a result of the decision of the Senate the committee stage of the debate on this Bill is to finish at 12.30 p.m. which means that our programme will have to be extremely tight if we are to consider all the clauses that we want to consider. The Opposition intends to move a number of amendments and there are a number of clauses it would want to oppose. The clauses to which the

Opposition would want to object are fairly well known. May 1 say that the Opposition will be endeavouring to confine its discussions on the various matters. I ask that some assistance be given by the Government as well in this regard and that no provocative action be taken by the Government, such as the moving of a motion that the question be put. The Opposition wants to debate all of the amendments it has circulated, but there should not be any need for the application of the gag. I remind the Committee that one of the considerable delays in the Committee stage of this Bill was caused by the introduction of a new amendment by the Attorney-General after the Bill had reached the Committee stage. Consideration of this amendment consumed a great number of. hours and might well have been intended to do so. If the Attorney-General does not endeavour to provoke opposition honourable senators by such tactics we may be ab/e to get through the programme because the divisions themselves will take quite a lot of time.

Senator Little - You are not suggesting that the Government is filibustering are you. because that would be out of order?

Senator MURPHY - 1 suggest that what happened last Friday in relation to the date of operations of certain provisions of the Bill was no doubt a deliberate tactic to extend the time taken in Com.mittee by an amendment that should noi have been introduced. All we would ask for is that we be permitted to deal with the Bill in such a way that our amendments will be put to a vote and the clauses to which we object will be put to a vote.

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