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Monday, 18 March 2013
Page: 1870

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:53): Senator Ryan has certainly displayed a great sensitivity about this issue. On the one hand he talks about the concerns that he has, but what we have heard from him is that he makes out that he and his party are in no way committed to limiting, and nothing they are doing would limit, the number of people on the roll. But clearly that would be the result if you followed through on the final form that the coalition want this act to take. There is the right, and I believe the requirement, when you are a citizen of this country to participate in the democratic process. Clearly people have a choice, but what we are talking about here is the roll, and the sum of the coalition's position would limit the number of people on the roll. That is what it boils down to. For all the bluster that we hear from Senator Ryan, that is what we need to recognise. Again, he tried to cover his tracks by bringing in an extraordinary tirade that he engaged in about the current debate around the media, doing the running yet again for newspaper and media proprietors. Again, that shows the self-interest that is a theme right through how the coalition is handling this. It is about effectively excluding people from the rolls. We have a real benefit that can come here to the democratic process by this sharing of information.

There is integrity in the process, there is a respect for privacy and it is a real step forward in what we are achieving here. The fight that the coalition is putting up and also the emotive language and the sensational comparisons that the senator has just made about the media debate, I think, are very revealing. So, again, the Greens certainly will not be supporting these amendments.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is that amendments (14) and (16) on sheet 7360 moved by Senator Ryan be agreed to.