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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9826


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (11:33): Minister, I'm still not clear as to what the funding arrangements will be. You took us through some of the political reasoning for the position that you've adopted, but there's another issue that has also come up. If the bill is passed this year, the four years will expire in late 2021. That's what the bill says, and yet it's clear, taking into account the cuts to the SCT in the 2017 budget, that it won't be able to resolve all disputes until December 2022, a whole year after it's had the statutory rug pulled out from under it and from under Australians whose disputes are yet to be resolved at that date.

We think it's contemptuous of the government to ask this chamber to authorise the abolition of the tribunal by a certain date when the government can't even guarantee the funding to ensure that all residual disputes of the tribunal are resolved by that date. What guarantees can you give us that that funding will be there between late 2021 and December 2022?