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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 109


Senator McLUCAS (4:58 PM) —The minister was criticising the Labor Party for the delay in provision of the amendment to the government. The minister may not know that Labor have been in discussion with Minister Brough's office throughout the day and it is through those negotiation processes and ongoing discussions that the words in front of us now appear. It is obvious that the government is not going to support them and that is unfortunate, not only for the quick movement of this bill through the chamber but also for those people who are in the retirement village sector who would very much like it. So criticising Labor for not providing amendments until this afternoon is a false and hollow criticism. We have been in negotiations with the government all day. It is plainly wrong to say that these are eleventh-hour amendments or have just been thrown at the government at three o'clock this afternoon. Let us be clear about this. We have tried very hard to do the right thing by the sector and we have tried very hard to negotiate in good faith.


Senator Coonan —If you've been negotiating, why haven't you got something that is accepted?


Senator McLUCAS —I do not think you are listening to the sector, to be frank. We have moved amendments that the sector are clear they want pursued, and we will pursue them on their behalf. There is plenty of time for this bill to pass through this chamber and the other. I hope that the government uses the time that is afforded to it to look very closely at the intent of the amendments.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.