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Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Page: 249


Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (12:59): So we are told that it broadly achieves the same, that broadly the companies are in the same category. But essentially we get the same outcome. So, broadly, you would say that Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott are in the same category. Broadly, you would say we will get essentially the same outcomes. The community have a view that 'broadly' and 'essentially' are not the same thing. So I would like to know: what is the difference? That is what we are asking here.

One piece of legislation went to a committee. It was a farce, but it went to the committee at least. Now we have amendments which have not gone to committee, which nobody knows, and the person who is putting forward the amendments has not turned up in the chamber, has not made a speech on them and does not know anything about them. We are asked to be assessing because the minister says they are broadly the same, with essentially the same outcome and approximately the same set of companies. We have not had the opportunity to test what the real difference is between what the government has proposed and what Senator Wong, who has not even turned up here, is proposing.

I do not think the community is going to buy it. In the parliament you need more than 'broadly', and 'Essentially, it is the same,' and, 'It is similar,' and, 'Just take it from me; take my word for it.' It has not gone to the committee. If you are not prepared to tell us what 'essentially the same', 'broadly speaking', 'broadly achieves the same', and 'broadly the same categories' mean, then you are asking people to buy a pig in a poke. And we are not going to do that.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is—Senator Carr?