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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 4890

Senator BIRMINGHAM (South Australia) (16:58): If I can just add to Senator Xenophon's question of why will it take a month, and put a slightly different perspective on that question: Minister, if you are going to follow all of the processes laid out in the act, if it is going to be a fully independent determination of the DOIC, how are you going to do it in a month? By the time this legislation goes back to the other place, is dealt with, is proclaimed, and then you have gone through the appointments processes of the membership of the committee who do all of their determinations and come up with a methodology as pre¬≠scribed in the legislation, how on earth are you going to provide that certainty within such a short space of time? It strikes me that your arguments conflict with one another. It strikes me that on the one hand you are saying, 'We want to deal with this quickly; and trust us, we can and will deal with this quickly and provide certainty to this sector', but on the other hand you are saying we have to go through all of the processes laid out in this bill to maintain the integrity of it. It strikes me that it is utterly impossible for you to be able to go through all of the processes laid out in this bill, maintain the integrity of it and at the same time achieve an outcome in a very short period of time. So which is it, Minister? Is it a negotiation—which you claim it is not—that will give us an outcome in a short space of time, or is it rather a proper process of the bill which will leave this industry hanging in limbo and uncert¬≠ainty until such time as all those of processes have gone through; and of course it will be quite some time before we actually see those regulations relating to these methodologies come back to this place.

Progress reported.