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Wednesday, 3 December 2003
Page: 23647

Mr ORGAN (4:23 PM) —I rise to speak on the Defence Legislation Amendment Bill 2003. I welcome the Democrat amendments and the Labor Party's support for those amendments. Like the former speaker, I would ask if and when the government is going to support the removal of same sex discrimination from federal legislation. It has the opportunity in this instance to support that, but I think it is all very clear to us that the current government is not prepared in any way to look at this issue in any real detail or with any real thought of removing this discrimination within the Australian community. That is a real shame. I heard the debate in the other place last night, and it was good to hear that the opposition have detailed plans, when they do eventually get into government, to look at this issue in great detail and generally get rid of a lot of the problems in respect of same sex couples that exist in our legislation at the moment. I welcome that, and I hope it comes sooner rather than later. It is a shame that the government really has shown its hand here and does not want to remove this blatant discrimination against certain sections of the Australian community. The Australian Greens are very supportive of these amendments. It is a shame that the government does not address this issue, especially as it has the opportunity to do that at present.

Question agreed to.