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Thursday, 10 November 2011
Page: 8840


Senator CARR (VictoriaMinister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) (13:55): I thank senators for their contributions and I congratulate you, Mr Acting Deputy President Fawcett, for your attempts to get coalition senators to at least acknowledge the standing orders and to try to actually be relevant to the bill. But of course what we have heard today—and Senator Brandis summed this up very clearly—is that the opposition have no intention whatsoever of allowing any further legislation to pass. Despite the fact that they intend to vote for this legislation—

Senator Ian Macdonald: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order on relevance. Senator Brandis has not even taken part in this debate, and the minister, having just come into the chamber, clearly has no idea, as usual, what he is talking about.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Fawcett ): There is no point of order.

Senator CARR: The coalition have made it perfectly clear that they have absolutely no intention of taking these matters seriously. Of course, what this is is the dummy spit that you have from time to time from people who have no real interest in actually undertaking their proper legislative functions in this chamber. After 29 hours of debate around the climate change legislation and the steel bills—where we saw 19 speakers put on the list, just to make sure that we burnt up as much time as possible—we have speaker after speaker engaging in tedious repetition.

Senator Joyce: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order on relevance. Time is pressing, and we want to progress this and actually get somewhere. I do not even know whether the minister knows which bill he is talking about. If you can expedite this and get us to a position where we actually conclude, that would be really appreciated.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: There is no point of order.

Senator CARR: I would ask all of those senators here who are here tonight and who will not be able to get home to their families, who will not be able to get on a plane tonight, to bear in mind the tactics that are being pursued by the Liberal Party leadership in this chamber. When you are stuck here tonight think about why you are here. Think about Senator Abetz and get him on the phone.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! I draw the minister's attention to the bill before the Senate, which is the Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.

Senator CARR: Well, you will not be getting an aircraft home tonight because Senator Abetz and the tactics of obstructionism that they are following in this chamber mean that work will not be done.

Senator Joyce: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order—once more, on relevance. At this point, listening to this tirade, I have not heard one word that he has said that has absolutely anything to do with the bill that is before us.

Senator CARR: We have heard from the Liberal Party every possible diversion to get away from the fact that they want to obstruct the work of this Senate. I understand that you have no intention of passing this bill today, that you have absolutely no intention of dealing with the substance of this issue with respect to maritime shipping. You have tried to pretend that it is something else. You really are running a pretty pathetic attempt to frustrate the work of the Senate—and you should think about that tonight. When you would rather be home with your family, just think about that tonight.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.