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Thursday, 4 February 2010
Page: 523

Senator PARRY (Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (3:35 PM) —I seek leave to move a motion to provide for the Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Re-registration of Providers and Other Measures) Bill 2009 to be recommitted immediately to enable the reconsideration of amendments and consideration of further amendments.

Leave granted.

Senator PARRY —I move:

That the Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Re-registration of Providers and Other Measures) Bill 2009 be recommitted immediately and that the committee reconsider amendments and consider further amendments

I thank the minister for allowing this to take place. Earlier today this bill proceeded to its third reading stage. Because of a misunderstanding in the minister’s office—which we understand; there are busy times in ministers’ offices—regarding the nonmovement of an amendment by Senator Xenophon and an indication that we would not divide on a particular amendment moved by the coalition, we feel it necessary to recommit the bill. I understand the government are going to cooperate and be understanding with the recommittal. Once we move back into the committee stage, Senator Cormann will be asking the chamber to consider schedule 1, item 11, as per sheet 5969 revised. Senator Xenophon will be moving amendments that he did not have an opportunity to move in the earlier session. They will be amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 6041 revised. I believe he will be seeking leave to move those together.

The rearrangement of the order of business today was done quite rapidly at times and that did not facilitate the smooth passage of the legislation. We understand the government needs to do that from time to time. That would be a fairly significant reason as to why the government is cooperating with the recommittal of this bill. Because of the misunderstanding and because of the confusion that has arisen, mainly emanating from the minister’s office, we feel this is the best course of action so that the full function of the Senate is preserved and the will of the Senate in relation to all amendments is properly considered and properly voted on.