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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7579

Senator COONAN (New South Wales— Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (4.49 p.m.)—I move:

That intervening business be postponed till after consideration of government business order of the day No. 2 (Medical Indemnity Bill 2002 and three related bills).

Senator Carr —Were we advised of this change in the program?

Senator Buckland —I was advised when I came into the chamber that we were doing this bill. I cannot help the Senate further than that.

Senator Faulkner —I do not doubt that there may have been some chamber arrangements, but I certainly have not been informed of them. Perhaps the minister could indicate to the chamber what the government's intentions are in terms of programming. That might assist the members of the opposition while we check with our colleagues involved with chamber management.

Senator Coonan —My information is that this change is to accommodate those senators who need some time to consider some amendments to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 and that there was an earlier agreement between Senator Ludwig and Senator Ian Campbell that we would proceed in the meantime with the medical indemnity bills.

Senator Faulkner —I thank the duty minister for the explanation to the chamber about the program. If he deems fit, Senator Forshaw will no doubt make an excellent contribution on this matter. As I understand it, there has been an agreement between the Manager of Government Business and those responsible for chamber management in the opposition to deal with this particular matter. On that basis, I warmly support the proposal that stands before the chair.

Question agreed to.