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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2033


Senator WATSON (11.54 a.m.) —I remind the Parliamentary Secretary that the problems are essentially of the government's own making because although the clerk's advice may have been given only at 7 o'clock last night, the amendments which created the problem in terms of the constitutionality—whether it is a taxing bill or whether a request for an amendment is appropriate—arose because at the last moment the government brought down a very extensive set of amendments, one of which affected superannuation and life companies. This gave rise to the particular problem at issue.

  In terms of the quality of the advice, naturally one would expect a responsible opposition to request a reasonable amount of time to evaluate that advice and the issues raised. It has a significant dimension given the clerk, a responsible officer supporting this parliament, has raised some issues and brought them to the attention of the President and the chair. It would be appropriate that the particular provisions as raised in the subtitle be deferred until a later date. I have no problem with that, in fact, I am requesting it because it is the appropriate course of action for a responsible house of review.