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Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Page: 1768


Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:44): I rise to oppose Senator Abetz's motion to refer consideration of the government's amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012 to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee for inquiry. The Greens do not support this motion because, as the opposition well knows, there has already been an opportunity for the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee to inquire into this bill, including the amendment. The amendment referred to in Senator Abetz's motion passed the House on 16 February this year. The committee did not report until 29 February.

It is obvious that this is nothing more than a hollow delaying tactic. There is no principle here. The opposition has already made it quite clear that, regardless of the outcomes of any inquiry, it will oppose the bill whether it is amended or unamended. The Greens support the government's amendment, which limits the exposure of building industry participants to multiple and ongoing proceedings. The amendment is necessary and important, and it is supported by the Greens. However, the Greens do not support the motion moved by Senator Abetz, as the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee has already had an opportunity to inquire into this bill, including the amendment.