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Thursday, 29 August 2002
Page: 3996


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Minister for Forestry and Conservation) (1:18 PM) —In closing the debate on the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2002, I refer to that last matter. The advice has been incorporated without any objection from the government but it does refer to amendments that are not currently in the bill before this chamber. As I understand it, these amendments were withdrawn in the House of Representatives earlier this week. So the advice can clutter up the Hansard but it is not relevant to the bill before this chamber at the present time.

With that apart, I thank Senator Bishop for his contribution. I notice that he has some criticisms about the process. I would be absolutely confident that all of the amendments proposed were done so by the minister, who, as I said earlier, is a very capable, able, compassionate minister, and the work she has done would have been in consultation with all of the stakeholders. I was going to say that I am sure that all other parties in the chamber with an interest in this matter would have been fully briefed either by the minister's office or by the department at request, but the document just referred to would obviously confirm that. Anyone who has an interest in this bill, including all of the stakeholders, would be fully aware of all of the terms and the impact that they have on the bill. With those comments, I thank the Senate for its support for the bill.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.