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Thursday, 24 March 1994
Page: 2161


Senator MARGETTS (11.38 a.m.) —The Greens (WA) share some of the concerns that have been articulated by Senator Watson. In fact, honourable senators will notice that there is an amendment of the same nature, almost identical in wording, circulated in my name to the motion that has been outlined for the report of the committee to be adopted. Therefore, we will not be pushing the point; we will be happy to support the opposition in that particular amendment. There are, clearly, conflicting legal opinions with regard to the nature of requests and amendments in this particular case. This needs to be addressed. Basically, if the Senate passed the request without comment it would create a problem for the future. Whilst there is significant legal doubt, the Senate needs to be conditional about the need to make these changes as requests. We are not wishing to delay the bill because of its implications, but it is in everybody's interests that these issues are resolved. By supporting such an amendment at that particular stage, we feel that there is a clear message going through at that time.