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Thursday, 13 November 2008
Page: 10

Senator IAN MACDONALD (10:27 AM) —Mr President, could I seek—with some trepidation, I might say—leave of the Senate to make a statement of less than 60 seconds? I can even indicate the nature of the statement, if that would help.

The PRESIDENT —No, you cannot. Is leave granted?

Government senators interjecting—

The PRESIDENT —Leave is not granted.

Senator Ludwig —What was it about? Ask again.

Senator Ian Macdonald —It was about—

The PRESIDENT —Order! If you people want to work these things out beforehand, that is fine. I have the job of sitting in the chair and determining to keep this place flowing with the business. Senator Macdonald, do you want the call again? You are entitled.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —Yes, Mr President. I am not sure that my request was understood by everybody. I seek leave to make a very short statement, of less than 60 seconds, about the message that you have just delivered.

The PRESIDENT —Is leave granted?

Senator Ludwig —Yes.

The PRESIDENT —There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —Thank you, Mr President. I want to thank the government for allowing me to make this statement. I want to put on record my thanks to the government and the Labor Party for agreeing in the lower house to the amendments moved by the Senate to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. I know the Labor Party argued vociferously and vigorously against our amendments. They voted against them but when the amendments went to the other House they agreed. I thank them for that—not on my account, of course, but on behalf of all of those Australians who were affected by the amendments. I want to express their thanks to the government for agreeing to those amendments.