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Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Page: 1161


Senator MARSHALL (7:40 PM) —Just before these amendments are put to the vote, I also, as chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, want to thank all parties and senators who involved themselves in this issue. As has been said a couple of times now, it is an issue that has received attention from all parties very constructively. I note that Senator Abetz is in the chamber. I also want to thank him. When he was the minister handling this portfolio, he worked very constructively with the committee and all other senators on this issue to get some very positive outcomes. I want to recognise that contribution from the now opposition; and, of course, the Democrats have a particularly long history of pursuing this matter and initiating inquiries, going back to since the formation of the Australian Democrats. More recently, the Australian Greens have taken a very strong interest in these areas. I commend both Senator Murray and Senator Siewert also, and I commit the Labor Party members of this committee to continue that good work.