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Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Page: 2154

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (17:52): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Kroger ) (17:52): Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDLAM: Then we can go into committee and we can leave these issues be. I thank Senator Birmingham for his support on at least one of these, as I think the issues that we were concerned about are sub­stantially pretty similar. It is about giving people time to make better arrangements, since they seem to be technically and economically feasible. I would invite the minister and maybe call him on his response when he spoke briefly to these amendments, saying—I am paraphrasing—'You are not compelling us to do anything so these amendments are irrelevant.' I think that is a rather cavalier attitude to take to an amendment which I believe the chamber will shortly carry that 'the government should extend the timeframes—as this amendment proposes—for consideration of self-help solutions and applications in subsidy areas of the SSS'. That is inviting the government to do something constructive.

We have moved this in the form of a second reading amendment, and perhaps I should get it drafted as a committee amendment to compel the government to do exactly that. But I thought that, as a sign of goodwill, particularly with coalition support, a second reading amendment effectively advises the government that the chamber wishes it to take action in a certain way. I do not think we are asking anything unreason­able at all. It does not compel the gov­ernment to unpick the structure of the subsidy scheme. We are inviting the government to take another look at some of the constructive proposals that have been set forth by local government associations and Broadcasting Australia. I wonder whether the minister might indicate that the government would be prepared to take this amendment in the spirit in which it is proposed.

Question agreed to.

Senator LUDLAM: by leave—I move second reading amendment on sheet 7053:

At the end of the motion, add:

but the Senate is of the opinion that the Government should cause an independent review of the impact of the delivery of television services under this legislation on viewers across Australia, and in particular in regional and remote areas, to be undertaken no later than 2 years after the commencement of this legislation.

Question negatived.

Original question, as amended, agreed to.