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Monday, 13 October 2008
Page: 5834


Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Human Services) (8:40 PM) —This amendment requires an agreement too. Clearly, we oppose this amendment, and I will provide the specific reasons shortly. However, as a general outline of our opposition, the amendment is not in accordance with the IGA. Therefore, the substantive position that I put earlier remains, which is that the Greens refrain from seeking to amend an existing agreement. I know that I am not going to be successful in getting you to refrain from doing that. We would divide in respect of the amendment, but in the interests of the chamber I will not seek to do that. However, I would ask the opposition and the Greens to look at the next four amendments to see whether or not they could seek leave to put them as a job lot. They all require that the particular provisions stand as printed, as I understand it. I am sure the clerks could organise a way for us to go forward with the debate on those individual matters and, by leave, effectively put them as a job lot. We would then seek to divide in respect of them. I do not know whether we would then have separate divisions. I am open to suggestions on the best way to proceed. I make the point that they depart from the IGA, for reasons that I will outline shortly.

With respect to the Greens amendments, I can talk to them now or reflect upon the amendment that has just been moved. I am really in your hands, Senator Siewert, and those of the opposition as to how to proceed. I will sit down and give you an opportunity to add to the debate.