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Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Page: 4609

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (09:54): In closing the discussion around this proposal, for the benefit of the Senate I thought it might be useful to read, as amended, what we are now voting on and make some brief comments. The amended motion states:

That the order of the Senate agreed to on 19 June 2012, relating to the hours of meeting and routine of business, be varied to provide that:

On Wednesday, 27 June 2012:

(a) the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to 8 pm;

(b) consideration of matters of public interest shall not be called on and instead the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 3) 2012 shall be called on;

(c) divisions may take place between 12.45 pm and 2 pm; and

(d) the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 7.20 pm.

That removes any of the previous references, Senator Fifield, to time management and I think that satisfies the concerns that you had raised. I would like to reflect on the comments made in respect of the time that will be involved in debating this, as Senator Evans said. We take as indications of goodwill the comments about how promptly this matter will be dealt with. But, at the same time, I note Senator Brandis's comments about concerns with the legislation that will be dealt with this week. The concerning factor there is that we take longer than today to deal with this matter, and I must highlight the urgency that is involved.

For the information of senators, we are seeking to pass this bill today. This legislation is largely agreed, as demonstrated by public comments of all parties and the passage of the bill through the House last night. I remind Senator Brandis that passage did occur in the House last night. But, more critically, the bill needs royal assent with regulations in place before the end of this financial year. The only opportunity for this process to occur is tomorrow morning and, on that basis, because of the arrangements for Ex Co tomorrow morning, I seek the cooperation of the Senate to achieve passage of this bill today.

Question agreed to.