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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Page: 3667


Senator BOB BROWN (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (11:54): I seek leave to make a similar statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator BOB BROWN: Firstly, we made no agreement to debate matters on Fridays. The agreement was to debate matters on Thursdays.

Senator Ian Macdonald: You are so cute.

Senator BOB BROWN: Senator Macdonald says that I am cute. I take that; it is nice to hear him make a positive statement about me for once.

Senator Faulkner: I am sure all senators agree with him.

Senator BOB BROWN: Thank you, Senator Faulkner. The private members' time that we are now enjoying exists because the Greens brought that into an agreement after many years of Liberal and Labor governĀ­ments suppressing any move for private members' bills. It is a bit precious for Senator Boswell to now be saying that he wants to—

Senator Ian Macdonald: Precious! Apart from Penny Wong you are the most precious in this chamber.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Macdonald, I cannot hear Senator Brown.

Senator Ian Macdonald: You're not missing anything.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Brown, please continue with your statement.

Senator BOB BROWN: He is a bit grumpy, as usual. We will not be supporting this move. The opposition brings on an urgency motion and suddenly says it is not urgent. What an abuse of parliament that is. That means that other people who may have had urgency motions do not get the opportunity to have that debating time this afternoon. We have had a private member's bill voted on here this morning. Those are the terms and conditions of the arrangements we made with the government that Senator Boswell refers to. It is proper process and we will continue to stick by that proper process.