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Thursday, 12 December 1996
Page: 7335


Senator BROWN(3.18 p.m.) —I also reluctantly support the move. I think the Labor Party should be congratulated for the magnanimity with which it has allowed this to happen. I was not here then, but everybody tells me that, at least in the last three years, the current government, which was then in opposition, took a far more obstructive—


Senator Abetz —Don't hold your breath.


Senator BROWN —When the Leader of the Opposition says that he hopes he will get a cooperative arrangement like this when he is back in government, Senator Abetz says, `Don't hold your breath.' This not only says that the past experience of the government was obstructionist but also that they are going to be like that again when they get back into opposition.

So I give double marks to the opposition for their magnanimity on this issue. The cooperation from the Australian Democrats and the Greens on this issue has also been important, because we do want to see sensible debate in what is a very limited time on some very important issues which should, let's face it, be getting far more time for debate because of the impact they are going to have on the Australian electorate.