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Thursday, 4 February 2010
Page: 526


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (3:46 PM) —I do not intend to take up too much of the Senate’s time this afternoon either. I thank the Senate for its cooperation in allowing this discussion and, hopefully, recommitting the bill to the committee stage so that we can have the will of the Senate reflected appropriately. It was very clear, in this chamber last night, where the Greens stood on all the amendments. I made that very clear in my speech in the second reading debate and I made that clear in the last committee stage.

I must say that the Greens have had a good relationship with the Deputy Prime Minister’s office through negotiating on this bill, trying to strengthen it, and that is why I tabled the agreement that I did yesterday. There was always the option of being able to strengthen the bill beyond that, and that is what the amendment put forward by Senator Xenophon and me is doing. I am sad, I must say, to hear that the same type of cooperation and good faith was not necessarily presented to us here in the chamber this afternoon when it was assumed across the chamber, whether it was in a private conversation or not, that perhaps Senator Xenophon and I were withdrawing that amendment. We were very clear last night that we would not be doing that and there was no indication that we would be doing that. In reconciliation, wanting to step forward and give international students the protection they deserve, let us move forward in good faith, recommit to the committee stage and get on with it.

Question agreed to.