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Wednesday, 11 December 1974
Page: 3429

Senator STEELE HALL (South Australialeader of the Liberal Movement) - It would seem to me that the amendment of the Opposition seeking to place a time limit on this legislation has some merit, in that it hopes thereby to to induce the Government to come forward with the better machinery which has been discussed in the second reading debate. But I cannot imagine that 30 June next year would be a sensible time. This allows only 6 months for the capacity of the Government to be enlarged to enter into these guarantees. Secondly there is every possibility that there will be some disturbance in Australian politics in mid next year which may very well leave a gap in any legislative ability. I am not forecasting anything; I am only saying what others have said to the newspapers.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - You are not a clairvoyant.

Senator STEELE HALL -No. I do not think there would be one honourable senator who would not admit that possibility. So it would seem to me that there could be a gap in the legislative capacity of the Australian Parliament at about this time when the period for operation of this legislation would cut off, according to the Opposition's amendment. I do not think it is reasonable administratively to expect the Government or industry to be faced with that hiatus in the implementation of these guarantees. I would support an amendment limiting the time to 31 December of next year if the Opposition wanted to do that. Otherwise, I will vote against this amendment. I will not try to amend the Opposition 's amendment. If the Opposition cares to do that, that is its business. I tell Senator Cotton that I would support an amendment for the extension of time of the legislation to be until the end of next year. But I believe that the short term extension is administratively unreasonable.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be added (Senator Cotton's amendment) be added.

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