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Thursday, 24 March 2011
Page: 1913

Senator LUDLAM (12:01 PM) —I thank Senator Birmingham for the invitation. I do not propose to tie us down for too long on these either. I understand that you have essentially batched the second, third and fourth sets of amendments that you proposed on the running sheet. Perhaps since you have described these amendments yourself as ‘hardline’, Senator Birmingham, I wonder if you could describe, as briefly as you are comfortable to, the degree to which these exceed Senator Xenophon’s amendments, which we have already voted for. Could you just condense for us the points at which you think the business is unfinished or how these differ from the amendments that we have just voted on? I think it is worth clarifying.

I am happy to indicate at this point that the Australian Greens will not be supporting them. We believe we have just set the balance about right, recognising, of course, that the opposition has some legitimate concerns. I suppose everybody in the chamber has put these concerns fairly bluntly this morning around discrimination, price and otherwise. But perhaps for the record, Senator Birmingham, if you want to, could you clarify what exactly you are proposing to do in addition to what the chamber just voted upon?