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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Page: 1323


Senator SHERRY (Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law) (5:10 PM) —I will give an indication of our view to save some time. We do not support the opposition’s amendment. We do not support the other amendments that have either been foreshadowed or moved. We support the original language in the bill. That is our position. We do so because the bill as it currently reads ensures that Infrastructure Australia is engaged in work that allows it to provide advice where it is needed most and focuses its limited resources on issues of national significance. It would not be an efficient use of Infrastructure Australia’s time to be reviewing thousands of business cases it might randomly receive from individual organisations. What is being proposed is a very inefficient approach. Nor would it be a good use of time to duplicate work that is being undertaken by other bodies or other ministers. It is for these reasons that subclauses (3) and (4) have been drafted as they currently read. The current formulation prevents Infrastructure Australia from being diverted from its major task and allows it to respond to national issues and support decision makers at the Council of Australian Governments. For that reason, we will not be supporting any of the proposed amendments. I put that on the record now because I do not want to waste the Chamber’s time by having a division in opposition.