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Thursday, 22 September 2011
Page: 6804


Senator McEWEN (South AustraliaGovernment Whip in the Senate) (11:54): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator McEWEN: I would have to concur on this occasion with the comments made by Senator Fifield. There has been no agreement by the parties to take this particular piece of legislation to a vote. As we know, on past occasions in private senators' time, some bills have been taken to a vote. But there was no agreement. It has been discussed numerous times at whips meetings. It has also been discussed on occasion by the Procedure Committee, where there was also no agreement reached. The government's view is that each piece of legislation that comes to this chamber should be treated with respect and, as Senator Fifield noted, there are other speakers on the list. So we believe the process this morning has been in accordance with generally agreed principles in the Senate.