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Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Page: 1541


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (09:46): I am not going to take the full time, I hope; I just want to explain our position. It is quite obvious that the ALP are pulling this stunt to try to not only frustrate the process but also recover from yesterday. Quite frankly, I think what happened is they saw an opportunity to frustrate the process in here. They did not look at what the bills were; they just said, 'No.' When they realised they had done this on BSWAT they said, 'It's a fundamental stuff-up here,' and are now trying to recover themselves. They did not paint themselves with glory yesterday because they were using people with disability to frustrate the Senate process. They are trying to back-pedal now and say, 'Now we've realised that it is so important we have to put it right at the top of the list.'

This is a non-controversial bill. If the government does the right thing and puts it in the non-contro slot for Thursday, which is the usual practice, it should get dealt with. I am asking the government whether it will do that. It is quite obvious that the ALP are not only trying to recover a little bit of credibility with the disability community but also trying to frustrate this process. I think that if the government puts it on and deals with it in non-contro, like it would normally do, that would be the best way to deal with it, instead of trying, once again, to frustrate this process.

To run the line that the ALP did not know what was in the BSWAT bill is just, quite frankly, incredible to believe. It stretches the idea of credibility so far it smacks in that this has been on the agenda for so long. We all know the findings of the court case, or at least anybody that is interested in this issue does. I know that a number of people in the ALP definitely are; I am not for one minute saying that they are not. They know what the finding of the court case was. They know that people who have been working in these circumstances have been denied their proper wages and have been waiting for this for a long time. It is very important. That is why we all agree that it is non-controversial and it should be properly dealt with through the normal process on Thursday in the non-contro slot.