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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7484

Ms ROXON (GellibrandAttorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management) (13:37): I will speak very briefly, because I understand that it is in the interests of the House for us to vote on these amendments. As I have said, the government does not support these amendments. The reason the government does not support them is that retrospective legislation is not appropriate here. Those opposite have pretended that they do not want to politicise this; I do not think that has been evidenced in the debate, but I understand that people feel incredibly strongly about this issue.

I remind the House—all those who are about to vote on the amendments—that the previous government ruled out taking this action in 2003 and 2006, and made other payments to do this. Our government is now taking action to ensure that the people whom the member for Paterson and others talked about in such a heartfelt way will never again be in the position that they were in before—they depended on the goodwill of the government of the day, who did not take the action that we are now taking.

We support the introduction of this bill and are pleased that the opposition supports it, but we reject the politicised comments about retrospectivity and do not support the amendments moved by the member for Stirling.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The question is that the amendments be agreed to.