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Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Page: 1810

Senator ABETZ (10:46 PM) —To point out the coalition’s position, can I refer to the excellent minority report authored by Senator Gary Humphries which he kindly allowed me and a few other senators to put our names to. On pages 149 to 153 of the Senate committee report, Senator Humphries set out some very important principles and views in relation to the coalition’s position. It became quite clear that we as a coalition were strong on this issue of greenfield agreements. Once again, one of the tests that I have been talking about this evening that we use in examining this legislation is jobs, and there is no doubt that if you have a greenfield agreement regime within your industrial legislation it assists new enterprises to get started and that creates jobs.

The coalition moved amendments. The government then, I might say in fairness, gazumped us with even better amendments. The fact that we are in heated agreement, it would seem, on this aspect of the legislation is one of those victories that we as a coalition will claim. But this is not an ideological victory; this is a victory for jobs and getting a regime that encourages greenfields enterprises. We commend the government for seeing the light.