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Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Page: 13557

Senator ALLISON (5:16 PM) —Since this debate is setting off on the path of political jibes and rhetoric we might as well continue along this vein for a short time. We have often heard in this place from the Labor Party that they cannot possibly support amendments that we might put up that would improve legislation. The usual reason is that that is what you do when you are in government. The usual reason is, `We can't do anything which is significant because we are a party in opposition. In other words, we are ready to take government after the next election and in the meantime we do not support your amendments if there is a chance they will get up because that is not what we are in the business of doing; we are in opposition.'

Senator Lundy, it does not bode well for this, your first bill, to be suggesting now that the Democrats are not wishing to join with you in creating the perfect heritage legislative environment. I think it would be more useful if we heard what your amendments did. A debate such as this is going to be very complicated and if we are just resorting to that kind of political rhetoric then we are not really going to get very far. I suggest that we focus on the effects of those amendments and leave aside from now on the question of whether this can be a perfect bill and whether the Democrats are joining with you in achieving that. We do have a political reality in this case. We do want to see the best possible heritage regime. As I said before, if Labor take government I will be the first to join with you in putting in place that regime to make sure it is as strong as it possibly can be.

Question negatived.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —The question is that sections 324M and 341M stand as printed.

Question agreed to.