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Senate hours of meeting.

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Minister for Justice and Customs Manager of Government Business in the Senate Senator for Western Australia

E162/05 29 November 2005

Senate hours of meeting

The Government has concluded a motion relating to the hours of meeting for the Senate for the remainder of the 2005 Spring Session.

The Senate will sit until 11pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as the two remaining Fridays until 3.30pm.

Since 1 July 2005, the average amount of time available for the consideration of Government Business has dropped to only 9 hours and 56 minutes hours per sitting week. This is in comparison to an average of 15 hours and 15 minutes prior to the new Senate taking its place on 1 July 2005.

“The ALP and other parties have deliberately triggered and elongated debate on matters of procedure, reducing the ability of the Government to deal with its legislative programme,” Senator Ellison said.

An example of this is demonstrated by the fact that over 17 hours has been spent debating motions to suspend standing orders, and motions to refer matters to committees since 1 July 2005. This equates to more time than that spent over an entire sitting week for the consideration of Government legislation.

“The Government has put in place extra hours to deal with its legislative programme, and the ALP and others in the Senate should stop wasting time on procedural issues and get on with the job of debating the legislation before them.”

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