Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Sugar Industry

3:58 pm

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | Hansard source

Senators, just before I call upon the next motion to be put, could I remind senators that, in relation to dealing with formal motions, report No. 2 of 2011 of the Procedure Committee indicated the very nature of what we've just seen today and a little bit yesterday—and certainly over past periods of time when we have been dealing with discovery of formal business—that is, leave can be sought to make an explanation, to make a statement, but during the discovery of formal motions leave shouldn't be sought to debate the motion. I didn't pull up any senators in debating the motion in the previous segment. But I advise senators of that, and some senators are new and don't realise that is the case.

The purpose of this section of the program is for senators to put motions and for the Senate to accept that they will be put without debate, and that is why we ask whether they can be taken as formal. There is a provision in a different portion of the program for motions to be debated. So I just remind senators, when they do seek leave to make a statement, to be conscious not to debate the issue and to keep those comments very brief. Without wishing to single out anyone, the exemplar at the moment is Senator McGrath. Senator McGrath briefly states the government's position and, in doing that, he alleviates the necessity for the Senate necessarily to divide. Senator Gallagher has entered into the same spirit by indicating the opposition's position without debating the issue. Occasionally, the major parties do debate, but I just remind all senators: when you seek leave, consider the purpose that you're seeking leave for.


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