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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2447

Senator MARRIOTT (TASMANIA) - My question, which I address to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, is a sincere attempt to find out something about how the Senate is expected to complete its work load for the remainder of the session. Is the Leader of the Government aware that there are 33 Bills on the Senate notice paper, that 7 Bills will be received by message today, that notice will be given of 2 others and that 2 Bills will be introduced? This will mean that a total of 44 Bills will be before the Senate which is a little less than 25 per cent of the total of 186 Bills already dealt with this year. In view of this information will the Leader of the Government inform the Senate of the total number of additional Bills which are expected to come to the Senate from the House of Representatives by message or which will be introduced in the Senate? How many of these Bills does the Government not require to be passed during this sessional period? When will the House of Representatives adjourn and when will the Senate adjourn?

Senator MURPHY - I cannot answer all of those questions because the decision as to when the House of Representatives will adjourn is a matter for it and the decision as to when the Senate will adjourn, of course, would be a matter for it. In addition to the Bills which are already before the Senate I understand that approximately 30 Bills are to come from the House of Representatives. The Senate would be expected to deal with those Bills. Everyone here would want the work to be dealt with. After all, this is only the beginning of December and we have many more days left. I would suggest that we should soon start sitting on more days of the week. We ought to be considering sitting at least on Fridays and perhaps on Mondays. Indeed, if honourable senators would like to set to work with a will there is no reason really why we should not sit each day of the week.

Senator Marriott - You cut down the hours because you said that you were being overworked and that you were all going to hospital.

Senator MURPHY - The honourable senator is in error. I never referred to myself as a reason for the establishment of more sensible hours of sitting. Indeed, if the honourable senator likes to make inquiry of the leaders of the parties here I think that he will find that each proposal that has been put forward was put forward after a meeting of the various leaders of the parties and then concurred upon. The work needs to be dealt with. If we are to get through the work load I would suggest that some honourable senators on

Senator Marriott'sside of the chamber could refrain from speaking a little more lengthily than perhaps they need to and refrain from undue repetition. I know that most honourable senators realise the necessity for putting their cases briefly and perhaps more cogently than is done by some. There are a few exceptions. If they were to alter their approach, I think we might be able to get through the work load.

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