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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 4316

Senator XENOPHON (12:24 PM) —I thank the Australian Greens and Family First for their support in relation to these amendments. I note the minister indicates that the Australian Electoral Commission says that these are not practical reforms. I indicate to the minister that I will seek a further briefing and an explanation from the commission in relation to this. Clearly, something more has to be done than has been done with this piece of legislation and I hope we will have an opportunity to deal with this before the next election, assuming we have got more sitting weeks before the next election—whenever that will be. It is also disappointing that the coalition, who expressed their genuine concerns about what occurred, have not seen fit to support reforms that would have gone some considerable way to deal with the sort of the behaviour that occurred—

Senator Ronaldson —The AEC said they could not do it.

Senator XENOPHON —I take Senator Ronaldson’s interjection that the AEC said they could not do it. The question is though: what amendment does the AEC say would work to deal with the issue of behaviour and to deal with the issue of people masquerading as another political party in the context of how-to-vote cards. It is not a criticism of Senator Ronaldson; I want to make that clear. It is a concern that we may not be able to fix this problem before the next election given where we are in the electoral cycle.

Question negatived.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.