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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 229


Senator O'CHEE (5.16 p.m.) —This matter is of considerable importance to the coalition and, indeed, the whole chamber because we have before us a motion by the minister that this chamber should not press the amendments which it sought and found appropriate when the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill first came before us. Some honourable senators on the other side shake their heads in amusement. I can clearly see that Senator Chris Evans thinks this whole matter is amusing. It is not amusing; it is a very serious issue.

  Those opposite have to understand that this Senate has a responsibility to try to ensure as much as it can that the legislation which passes this place not only is proper legislation but is fair and equitable. It would be totally improper of us merely to do as Senator Evans wants to do and just hold up our hands and surrender every time a piece of legislation comes before this chamber. That is why I believe that at the beginning of this debate Senator Evans should look on this matter with much more seriousness than he does at the moment.