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Friday, 27 June 1997
Page: 5460

Senator STOTT DESPOJA(11.59 a.m.) —I just want to make a couple of points in response to Senator Carr's comments. First of all, the minister should know that the Democrats are not concerned about levels of offence when it comes to fixing up laws that may be bad or that in fact may cause offence to people in a particular sector, such as the postgraduate sector. I also want to correct any implication that ours is in any way a watered down or less effective solution simply because the government finds it least offensive.

In fact, Senator Carr, you referred to the supposed simplicity of your amendment, but I put it to you that should not the ALP, of all parties, be concerned about the prospect of leaving a loophole in legislation which does not address a central concern—that is, that students should not be doing work that another would be paid as an employee to do? That is quite a fundamental concern, and it is something we have sought to address in our amendments. I put on record very strongly that the Democrats, along with some of the other minor parties, have been concerned with this issue from the beginning. I wish that a similar amendment or such concern had been moved or expressed by the ALP in the lower house.