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Thursday, 28 October 2010
Page: 997

Senator WILLIAMS (10:15 AM) —Mr President, I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

Senator WILLIAMS —On this very issue, I do support compensation for all property owners when they have their rights removed in any way whatsoever. We are very familiar with the Peter Spencer issue and how in New South Wales farmers cannot carry out activities on their land with no compensation whatsoever. I do support it in principle. I will not support part (b) of Senator Brown’s motion because it is too vague, too ambiguous. We need more detail. When the detail comes forward—and, as Senator Macdonald has said, let us find out the detail of part (c)—then that can progress the issue. That is why I will be supporting the amendment.

Senator Colbeck —Mr President, I rise on a point of order. I just question whether it is possible for the chamber to amend a clause that we are voting to remove. I understand what Senator Brown is trying to do—

The PRESIDENT —Leave has not been granted.

Senator Colbeck —I am making a point of order. Is it possible for the Senate to amend a clause that we are voting to remove? That is the motion before the chair as I understand it—to remove clause (b). So is it possible under the standing orders for Senator Brown to amend something that we are voting to remove?

The PRESIDENT —Yes, by leave, it would be. But leave was not granted.

Senator Bob Brown —Mr President, I rise on a point of order. Senator Macdonald and other opposition senators have now refused leave to have on the record that the matter that relates to these two projects. However, any reader of the Hansard of the Senate knows exactly what the projects are, so it makes no difference. I simply moved that amendment to have the record made clear and sensible, a matter which Senator Macdonald has now prevented. But that is his wish.

The PRESIDENT —Senator Brown, there is no point of order. I now have a question before the chair, which is that part (b), as per the amendment moved by Senator Colbeck, be removed.