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Wednesday, 31 August 1994
Page: 637

Senator PATTERSON (10.59 a.m.) —Yesterday afternoon during the second reading debate, Senator Harradine came to me with a concern. As I said yesterday, I took over responsibility for the Human Services and Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) at short notice because Senator Herron is away in Rwanda using his surgical skills and medical knowledge to assist the people in that strife-torn country and is not able to be here for that reason. I took over the bill and was not as on top of it as I might otherwise have been. I wanted to have some time to look at the concerns Senator Harradine had. I went to the Deputy Clerk at the table and asked her advice in a rather hasty way. I do not think I explained what I was asking for very clearly. Therefore, her advice was most probably based on the way I asked the question.

  Overnight, in the time we have had to look at the legislation in more detail, we have received advice. The information Senator Harradine has put on the record is the advice that I have had also—that it does not reduce the powers of the Senate to examine the schedule. So the coalition will not be moving any amendments or having any concerns. As I stated, the coalition will be supporting the bill and all its amendments.