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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1273


Senator RYAN (VictoriaSpecial Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet) (18:59): As I outlined earlier, Senator Hanson, the government does not support the proposed changes to impact on former prime ministers. I will not again go through in great detail the examples of public service or the rationale for that, but the government strongly believes that they have a unique place, and I think we can refer to that with the examples I used before. With respect to a couple of the comments that Senator Macdonald made earlier, retrospective legislation is not completely unknown to this place. This is not the first piece in my 8½ years in parliament. It is reserved for exceptional circumstances, and, as I have explained, the decision that the government and I took over summer to abolish the Life Gold Pass immediately is an example of rebuilding public trust in the expenses framework, of which the next bill is also a very important part.