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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 264


Senator DASTYARI (New South Wales) (16:08): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator DASTYARI: I want to begin by apologising to the new senator from Western Australia and explain that the process is that normally we see amendments and so on beforehand. Our decision not to grant leave was not a passing judgement on the nature of the amendments but rather was based on the process and the fact that we had not had the opportunity to see them. I do want to note that the amendment being moved by Senator Williams is nothing more than an attempt to find a way to not support a position that Senator Williams has held in this place and others.

Senator Bernardi: Mr President, a point of order: I do not think it is appropriate that Senator Dastyari can reflect on the motivations of another senator in moving an amendment to a bill.

Senator Fifield: On an amendment that he's—

Senator Bernardi: Exactly.

The PRESIDENT: There is no point of order.

Senator DASTYARI: Senator Williams has been a strong advocate in the past, both publicly and privately, for a royal commission. Yet when a royal commission motion is before him in the Senate he finds a way to make an amendment in which proper notice was not given for the sole reason of finding an excuse and reason to vote against the motion.

Senator Williams: Mr President, a point of order against what Senator Dastyari claimed: it was circulated at 3.25 pm through the chamber—the amendments, right throughout here.

The PRESIDENT: That is not a point of order; that is a clarification. You have made your point, Senator Williams.