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Thursday, 12 October 1972
Page: 1510

Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) - I only want to say a few words about this motion. From time to time we are faced with this encroachment upon the time of the Senate by permitting committees to meet during sittings of the Senate. It started with a few meetings of the Estimates Committees and now we find that the Public Works Committee wants to do the same thing. Perhaps this committee system will run away with us and I am beginning to wonder whether we should bother having sittings of the Senate. After all, the Senate is the forum of the nation and it should meet. There should be no encroachment upon the duties of senators to the Senate. We should not permit senators to be absent from the Senate for the purpose of engaging in committee work. Their work on committees should be done at times when the Senate is not meeting. I take note of the remark of the Minister for Health (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) that the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy) has agreed to the proposition. I take the matter no further than voicing my protest. I hope that there will be a reconsideration of this attitude and the precedent of committees meeting during sittings of the Senate.

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