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Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2194

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I rise on this motion to get some indication from the Government in regard to an item on the notice paper. We will return to the Senate on 12 November. I know that reports of committees are scheduled to be presented that day and that the debate on the Family Law Bill 1974 is continuing. But I also notice that the Superior Court Bill 1974 has in recent days been lifted to the second position on the notice paper. It is in regard to the future of that Bill that I seek some indication from the Manager of Government Business in the Senate (Senator Douglas McClelland). This Bill, as he will recall, is now on its third appearance before the Senate. It was introduced on 12 December last year and disappeared from the notice paper on prorogation. It was reintroduced in April of this year, debated in the Senate and the Senate rejected the second reading of the Bill.

At the time of the double dissolution there was standing on the notice paper a motion by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Murphy) for the recommittal of the Bill. When the new Parliament assembled the Bill was reintroduced on 30 July and it has been on the notice paper for 25 sitting days. My recollection also is that when the Parliament adjourned on 16 August it was a matter of touch and go as to whether the Superior Court Bill would be debated on that day. In the result it was not debated. But we have had it on the notice paper for quite a long time. I am also very conscious of many statements made from time to time about the Opposition not co-operating with the Government in the passage of legislation. We on our part think we have co-operated well, but we would like an indication as to whether the Superior Court Bill is to be proceeded with. If so, when will it be proceeded with or is it to be regarded as abandoned? If so, are formal steps likely to be taken? I think it is important for us to have some indication as to what are the Government's intentions. I use this motion to seek that information.

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