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Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Page: 8983


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (13:47): (In division) Is the amendment relating to the definition able to be separated from the amendment relating to celebrants?

The CHAIR: I believe that that question has been put, Senator Macdonald. All of the amendments on sheet 8326 were moved, by leave, together. However, they are separate questions.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Which one are we voting on now?

The CHAIR: Amendments (1) to (19), (21) to (23), (25), (27) to (38), and (40) to (44) on sheet 8326.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Can someone help me? Is that the issue on the definition or on the celebrants?

Government senators: Both. They're all together.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I'm asking: can they be split?

An opposition senator: No.

The CHAIR: Senator Macdonald, they have been moved, by leave, together. The Senate has already agreed that all of the amendments on sheet 8326 be moved together. However, we have separated them out in the manner I've just described so that the first question is that the amendments be agreed to and the second question is that schedule 1 stand as printed.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I'm asking if the different amendments can be voted on separately.

An opposition senator: No.

The CHAIR: The answer is no.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I'm asking the Chair—thank you for your help!

Honourable senators interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I'm exercising an informed vote on this, unlike those numpties over there, who are just doing what they are being told to do.

The CHAIR: Senator Macdonald, please resume your seat.

Honourable senators interjecting

The CHAIR: I remind senators to be respectful. This has been a respectful debate; let's keep it that way. I've made my point, Senator Macdonald. I've made my point that the Senate has made its decision. Senator Birmingham?

An honourable senator: He can't speak if he's not in his chair.

The CHAIR: Senator Birmingham, you can't move now.

Honourable senators interjecting

The CHAIR: Order! I am seeking to keep the debate respectful and keep people orderly. Senator Birmingham, you have the call.

Senator Birmingham: Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to say, if it may help Senator Macdonald, that there are subsequent amendments that deal more separately with the question in relation to celebrants and their treatment that don't necessarily change the definition of marriage. Whilst of course you're right, Chair, that the chamber had already agreed to deal with these amendments together, it would be helpful, at least for Senator Macdonald, who asked a reasonable question, to understand that there are subsequent amendments that do deal with the matters on separate terms.

The CHAIR: Thank you, Senator Birmingham. The question now is that section 39DD and subsection 39DE(3) in item 8, and items 9 to 16 and 57, of schedule 1 stand as printed.

Progress reported.