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Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Page: 1304

Senator MASON (Queensland) (18:24): Senator Xenophon may find the minister's arguments somewhat Orwellian or dystopian, but the opposition finds them, if not compelling, at least persuasive. I concede that it is a matter of balance and it is not clear-cut. I think even the minister would concede that. It is about the price of insurance and the regulatory burden on the one hand versus the convenience or the confidence of students on the other. Senator Xenophon, you are right to suggest that the last time we debated this group of bills on ESOS the opposition voted against a similar amendment. We did, not because we do not believe that, as the minister said, it is well intentioned; we do think it is well intentioned. These are often close calls. But on this occasion the opposition does agree with the government that it is a bridge too far for the providers and the Tuition Protection Service.