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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 160


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (09:49): I want to indicate my support for the position set out by Senator Hinch. I will say that in terms of NXT we are not affected either way by this, but there is an important principle in respect of this—that is, we legislated to have a process in place. Of course, the Senate can override it, as is the Senate's right. But I think the litmus test, if you like, the pub test in terms of what is fair, is how would this have played out if it was as though it was a half-Senate election. I think that, clearly, in this case, Senator Hinch would have been elected for a six-year term. We did go through a legislative process many years ago that anticipated this. It can be overridden by the Senate, but I think that this is fundamentally unfair and that is why I support the position of Senator Hinch and other crossbenchers in relation to this. We had a legislative reform. That legislative reform ought to be respected, even though it can be overridden by the Senate.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Fifield be agreed to. Those of that opinion say aye. Those against say no. I think the ayes have it.

Senator Hinch: We think the noes have it.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Hinch. A division has been called, so we will be able to divide. The question is that the motion moved by Senator Fifield concerning the rotation of senators for the purposes of section 13 of the Constitution be agreed to.