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Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1056

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (18:37): Minister, I also wanted to take up a similar question to that which Senator Cameron asked about how the change came about, because it was only a few months ago that we were here and the two-year grace period was agreed to by the Senate. I notice that you have changed your language somewhat, putting it on the crossbenchers, but we know it went through unanimously; it was agreed to. So, my question is: when did you change your mind and decide to bring legislation back to the parliament—the legislation that we are now debating? When did that change and what was the catalyst? It is a very big change. In November you signed off on legislation—the two-year grace period was unanimous. So, for the understanding of how the government works and, most importantly, going to the heart of what we are debating here, that needs to be unravelled. It is important, if this is a house of review and you are committed to that openness and transparency, to understand the process here. That should be answered.