Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Page: 2835

Senator CORMANN (1:55 PM) —The coalition will support the Do Not Call Register Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 and, for the very detailed rationale, I refer senators and members of the public to the comments made by my friend and colleague the Hon. Tony Smith in the other place. However, I quickly make the observation that the way in which this legislation has been handled is yet another example, another case study of a government which does not know how to manage its legislative program, which does not know how to manage the affairs of government, which does not think things through and has to fix up things at the last minute. Here we are, at the last possible opportunity to get this legislation through in time, for its coming into effect by 31 May, and we have other senators who want to talk to it.

The Do Not Call Register is a great and very successful Howard government initiative, which has seen more than four million residential phone numbers registered. It protects those Australians from unwanted calls from telemarketers. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, with great fanfare, announced that he wanted to extend this register to business, government, faxes and emergency numbers. Right from the outset, we said that extending this to business would not be workable. According to the typical Rudd government’s modus operandi, late on Friday afternoon, on 30 April, the minister had to perform yet another backflip. He was trying to do it on the quiet when nobody was watching. We are now here mopping up the minister’s stuff-ups and we are given 30 seconds to deal with this piece of legislation just so as not to embarrass the minister by it adversely impacting on millions of Australians who want to continue to benefit from the protection of this particular piece of legislation.

The coalition does support the extension to five years, as has been put forward by the government. We think it should have happened through legislation rather than through regulation. However, to facilitate speedy passage of this legislation I will conclude my remarks on that point.