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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 2086

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) - Speaking for myself, I would think that the words: 'The powers, privileges and authorities of the Parliament' would certainly include the authorities of either House of Parliament and would certainly include the authorities of any committees of the Parliament. Each House is a part of Parliament and the authorities of any parliamentary committees are derivative from Parliament. Mr Chairman, you will notice that the clause does not pretend to define them. It says:

The powers, privileges and authorities of the Parliament extend to and apply within (but are not restricted to) the Parliamentary grounds.

I do not know how we could be more explicit than that. I say that I am not advocating my own language. I am advocating language that has been prepared professionally for me. I do not think that any alteration was made, but there it is. I cannot see the substance in the objection.

Furthermore, what happens if the Senate does accept that clause as printed? It goes, along with the Bill, to the other House. The other House immediately asks the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) for his advice. Surely that provides the opportunity for the other House, where the Attorney-General's view is assured of prevailing on a matter of constitutional law to bring before us such modifications when the Bill is returned to the Senate.

Having put those considerations before the Parliament, I state that I want the Senate to appear to be contributing something positively without delay to the solution of this deadlock in regard to the siting of the new Parliament House. If there is any expression of opinion other than the wish expressed by, Senator Murphy for further time, I will not resist it. But I suggest that it is much more in keeping with our purpose and our self-respect to accept clause S with all the assurance that the powers, privileges and authorities of the Parliament are not to extend simply to this edifice or the new edifice but are to extend to the boundaries of the Parliamentary grounds but are not to be restricted to them in deference to Senator Murphy's view. I would think that that is a reasonable proposition that honourable senators should accept.

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