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Suspension of Standing Orders
- Parl No.
Nash, Sen Fiona
Parry, Sen Stephen
- Question No.
Evans, Sen Chris
Suspension of Standing Orders
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- Start of Business
- SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH JOBS) BILL 2010
- AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PREVENTIVE HEALTH AGENCY BILL 2010
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Fifield, Sen Mitchell, Evans, Sen Chris)
(Moore, Sen Claire, Evans, Sen Chris)
(Birmingham, Sen Simon, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
(Marshall, Sen Gavin, Carr, Sen Kim)
(Bernardi, Sen Cory, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
Health: Disease Control
(Milne, Sen Christine, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Kroger, Sen Helen, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
(Sterle, Sen Glenn, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
(Coonan, Sen Helen, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
- Gillard Government
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
- LEAVE OF ABSENCE
- Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
- Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
- National Capital and External Territories Committee
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee
- Corporations and Financial Services Committee
- Environment and Communications References Committee
- PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT
- LANGUAGE RIGHTS OF TIBETANS
- MENTAL HEALTH
- FOOD STANDARDS AMENDMENT (TRUTH IN LABELLING—GENETICALLY MODIFIED MATERIAL) BILL 2010
- ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- AVIATION CRIMES AND POLICING LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PREVENTIVE HEALTH AGENCY BILL 2010
- Second Reading
- In Committee
- Support of People with Disabilities
- Mr Thomas Reid MBE
- Mr Andrew McLeod
- Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants
- National School Chaplaincy Program
- Solar Cities Project
Cunningham Dax Collection
- Australian Greens
- QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Senator CHRIS EVANS (Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations) (4:13 PM) —Senator Nash makes one of the most unprincipled contributions I have heard in this chamber, and I am surprised by that because that is not her form. To be fair to her, she did at least admit that she was about to rat on a deal, so I give her that—she was honest. The National Party and the Liberal Party are ratting on a deal. It is not an old one; it was made in March this year. With great fanfare, Christopher Pyne, the opposition spokesman on education, announced that he had done a deal with the former Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the now Prime Minister, settling this issue and ensuring opposition support for our measures.
The measures Senator Nash seeks to overturn now have not even come into force—the deal will not be consummated until 1 January. A range of measures did come into force in July, but the measures that she seeks now to overturn do not come in until 1 January. So the Liberal-National Party did a deal, and before it has even been implemented they are already seeking to rat on it. Why is that? It is because they think they might be able to get the Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010 through the House of Representatives as well and thereby put themselves in a position where once again they can try to make people believe that life is easy and everything can be funded and ‘don’t you worry about that’.
The reality is that Senator Nash, Senator Joyce and every Liberal member voted for the arrangements they seek to now overturn in a public, open and clear agreement with the government. Now they say to us: ‘We’ve decided we don’t really like them because we have a few people complaining about them and therefore we’ve changed our mind. We’ll take all the good bits that have been implemented, but we are now going to deal with the bits where we think we can curry favour with a certain section of people who would otherwise not be treated as well under these arrangements.’ In passing, they do not tend to mention that it is going to cost $300 million or so. What we have is a money bill being initiated in the Senate which we think is unconstitutional. The senator comes in and says, ‘I will make sure this bill does not go to the Selection of Bills Committee and I will make sure there is no inquiry into this bill. I will make sure that the motion today applies the gag and the guillotine and that we ignore the cut-off rules.’ All the things that the Senate has supported over the years—the cut-off, the selection of bills process, the capacity of senators to seek an inquiry and opposition to the gag and guillotine—will be overturned by this motion because it suits the Nationals’ political opportunism to do that today.
Senator Nash —That is even too low for you.
Senator CHRIS EVANS —Senator, you have just abandoned every process this Senate has ever adopted. You insist government bills get inquired into, you insist government bills are assessed and you insist government bills are debated properly without a gag or a guillotine, but this motion brings in all these things. When the power changes in the Senate in July, you might well regret that because you would have to say that this is a pretty silly precedent to be setting. I mention in passing—I do not have much time—that at the Standing Committee on Procedure meeting yesterday your leader and your whip agreed to better processes. They said they did not want this sort of process and they agreed to put in place processes that ensured this could not happen.
Senator Parry interjecting—
Senator CHRIS EVANS —The draft report is available, Senator Parry, as I understand it. That has been your consistent position; I give you credit. This throws out the Liberal-National position in relation to procedure. This applies a gag, it applies a guillotine, it refuses to allow the Senate to have a selection of bills hearing and it refuses to allow us to have a references committee hearing. All for what? Because there is a stunt in it for the National Party—they think there are some cheap votes. Fundamentally, they have ratted on an agreement that they made. Christopher Pyne will have to front up and explain why he did a deal with the Prime Minister on behalf of the Liberal-National coalition, and already they are walking away from it by seeking to impose $300 million more expenditure.
Senator, if you were serious about the public policy issue—and there are serious public policy issues at stake—you would put your bill up to the scrutiny of a Senate committee; you would allow it to be referred to a Senate committee. I understand you have refused that because you are deliberately seeking to take the lowest possible route with this and, quite frankly, you will regret the precedents you are suggesting the Senate supports. You are throwing out years of Liberal-National party positioning in the role of the Senate and I suspect you will regret it.