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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1128


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (11:11): It is really important to acknowledge here that what we are talking about is a very complex piece of legislation, a fundamental piece of legislation that goes to the very heart of what it means to achieve recognition of country for Aboriginal people. The idea that a government dominated committee for reasons of its own is the arbiter of for an appropriate time line in this is laughable. This is a really complex issue. This is something that stems back decades. We know that there are many problems with the legislation as it stands. We have heard from people right across the community about how critical it is to get this right. Why would we simply rush this piece of legislation through this parliament when it has been so contentious for so long? Many Indigenous groups have stood up and said: 'We want this done and done properly.'

Let's be frank about this; we know that this is a rushed timetable to try and facilitate the development of the Adani coalmine. We need to see some, I think, thorough reflection, some thorough inquiry to get this right; otherwise, we will be here again and again. That is why my colleague Senator Rachel Siewert has proposed that we extend that time line to 8 May and that we give this issue the attention that it deserves.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT : The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Siewert to move the reporting date to 8 May be agreed to.

Question negatived.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question now is that the report as presented by Senator Bushby be adopted.

Question agreed to.