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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1591


Mr BANDT (Melbourne) (10:30): I support the amendments moved by the member for Kennedy. If these amendments do not get up, building workers in this country will have fewer rights than accused criminals. Building workers will be able to be hauled in for investigation, forced to answer questions and forced to name names. I hear the minister point to some of the other amendments, including that building workers will have their expenses reimbursed. I tell you what: I reckon someone would rather have the right to silence than have their taxi fare paid—for a taxi ride to ferry them into a star chamber where they can be forced, in true McCarthyist style, to name names.

When this legislation was introduced, Labor were right there standing for the principles of the rule of law, knowing that we should not have a situation where building workers had fewer rights than accused criminals. We now have the opportunity to restore the rule of law, to restore that fundamental principle of the right to silence and to address the situation where building workers have fewer rights than accused criminals. So I heartily support these amendments.

The SPEAKER: The question is that the amendments moved by the member for Kennedy be agreed to.

A division having been called and the bells having been rung—

The SPEAKER: As there are fewer than five members on the side of the ayes, I declare the question negatived in accordance with standing order 127. The names of those members who are in the minority will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.

Question negatived, Mr Katter, Mr Wilkie and Mr Bandt voting aye.