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Wednesday, 11 May 1994
Page: 572

Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.18 a.m.) —Senator Spindler missed the point of the 15-minute contribution I made, and that is that what we need here is some flexibility. We tried in 1987 in the report of that committee to cover the sorts of situations he has talked about. We found through experience that flexibility is needed. Do not look at this as being the one and only chance that those opposite will have to look at this particular legislation.

  Legislation comes before this parliament periodically and covers broadly these sorts of areas. If, with experience, those opposite find that people are being disadvantaged, the opposition can come back to this legislation. But our experience has been that we need some flexibility—flexibility which in this instance we cannot get through hard and fast words in legislation. I think that is a principle that Senator Spindler—and I hope he will not get upset about this—has understood to be of use in other circumstances. I ask him to give it a go here.