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Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Page: 8751

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (6:36 PM) —Mr Acting Deputy President, maybe you could bring that rabble to some sort of order.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I will do my best, Senator.

Senator FIELDING —We have been consistent on this issue. I raised this during the debate on the scholarships bill when the government decided to take the scholarships away. They thought they could railroad it through the second time. They could have split this bill, making sure the scholarships went through. This is their doing. It is not on my head and it is not on the heads of the coalition. It is on their heads that there are no scholarships. They should not try and weasel their way out of it. They have been absolutely reckless and irresponsible. They have known about this for months and they have come in here a couple of days before the end and are trying to hold a gun against the Senate’s head. It is disgraceful.

Government senators—Rubbish!

Senator FIELDING —No, it is not rubbish. They have known about this for a while. I raised the issue when the first bill was brought in. They should have debated them together and made sure rural and regional kids were looked after and not sold out. It is wrong.