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Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 8962

Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (12:11): Briefly, I would like to address the other amendments that we have proposed, which are in effect giving the secretary the flexibility to determine noncompliance and to consider extenuating circumstances in that respect. The Greens have indicated—for which I am grateful—that they are amenable to these amendments. I hope that that will be the case because the amendments simply bring this bill into line with the Social Security Act, whereby, for an individual who is deemed to be noncompliant and may indeed suffer a penalty—notwithstanding the fact that I am saying that some of the penalties are not that significant—the secretary should be able to consider their personal circumstances in making a determination. This is a flexible approach. It is entirely consistent with other legislation that has been through this chamber. I think it is an important initiative to ensure that this pilot can work as effectively as it possibly can, notwithstanding our concerns. With that—I am looking once again for that wonderful wording, and I will try to recreate it—the opposition opposes items 5, 6 and 22 in schedule 1 in the following terms:

(1) Schedule 1, item 5, page 3 (lines 26 to 30), TO BE OPPOSED.

(2) Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (lines 1 to 5), TO BE OPPOSED.

(5) Schedule 1, item 22, page 8 (lines 5 to 8), TO BE OPPOSED.