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(generated from captions) it if he dozen get out of the

road and allow the Government

to govern and sustain jobs and

economic growth in this

country. Lindsay Tanner there.

Independent Senators want more

time to scrutinise the

Government's stimulus package,

saying Australians would expect

the Senate to examine the

package closely. Independent

Senator Nick Zenophon joins us

now from Canberra. Nick

Zenophon, good morning. I'm

gleszing you're glad you're an

upper House MP and not in the

Lower House after last night's

effort there. As a State MP I

did the 5 am legislative

session. Legislation by

exhaustion is not a good way to

make the laws of the nation and

hopefully the Senate will have

more sensible hours so we can

look at things in the relative

definitely push cool light of day. You'll

definitely push for an upper

House inquiry. Is there any

limit on the length of that

inquiry? Yes there, has to be.

I understand there is a real

sense of urgency in terms of dealing with the Government's package but there is a difference between dealing with

an issue urgency and being

panicked into dealing with it.

That's why it's important that

the inquiry kick off some time

today going into tonight and

extending into tomorrow so we

can at least get some fundamental answers from Treasury, from other

Treasury, from other key groups

as to the impact of this

package, how it will work,

whether there are any sensible

alternatives to what's been

proposed. You're saying there

is some hope that inquiry could

be finished by tomorrow? I

think un likely but what's

happened is the Senate will be

coming back next week. We

weren't due to come back for formal sittings for another two

weeks. The consensus is we need to come back next week, that

to come back next week, that

all Senators are taking this

issue very seriously and that's

why the Senate will be sitting

subject to a resolution of the

Senate this morning, all of

next week so we can deal with

this package. What's the limit

on when it would end? Would

you expect it would definitely

be finished by the end ofthext

week? That's the anticipation

that we need to deal with with

this legislation, one way or

the other by next week, by the

the other by next week, by the

end of next week at the latest.

That's how I see it and I think

that seems to be a general

consensus in the Senate. I

think Australians don't want a

rubber stamp Senate. When you

have a rubber stamp Senate, as

we did in recent years, you

ended up with, I think, some

pretty bad laws and pretty bad

outcomes and I think it's

important the Senate does its

job as a watchdog to

appropriately scrutinise job as a watchdog to

legislation. For example, in

the Government's own financial

statement it refers to Defence

Force housing getting a $2

billion boost. That's clearly a

typo but if you're getting that

sort of typo in a Government

document, it indicates it is important for the Senate to

look at the big picture to

ensure there aren't any

fundamental mistakes made. The

Government is saying it's

irresponsible to delay this, that it will cost

that it will cost jobs. I

think the Government needs to

understand the Senate has a

very important job to do here

and that is to appropriately

scrutinise legislation, to make

sure there aren't unintended

consequences and hear from

Treasury about the impact on

the economy. I agree with the

Government, for was going to be

a long, drawn-out Senate

inquiry going into the weeks

and months, that would be not

about hours in order on, but we're talking

about hours in order to look at

this and to look at it properly

rather than, in the pressure

cooker atmosphere of the lower

house where people sit until 5

in the morning, that's not a

good way to legislate for

Australians. It sounds like you

want to check on the details

but broadly you agree with the

thrust of it and you will

eventually support this bill?

I think you're making a bit of

a jump there in relation to

a jump there in relation to

that. I think what needs to be

done is to get answers to

fundamental questions about

whether modelling's been done,

what the impact will be on the

economy, whether there are any

alternatives to this package, particularly in relation to infrastructure. I think these

are reasonable answers that

every Australian should know

and every Senator should know

before they vote on the

legislation so whilst I'm sympathetic to key

sympathetic to key elements of

the package, I think we need

the details. I can understand

that the banks have been given

a bail-out, commercial property

developers are going to be

understand why a lot of mums given a bail-out and I can

and dads out there are saying,

"What help are we going to get

in this time of economic crisis

?" It sounds like you'll

eventually support it after

checking through the details?

to look I guess it sounds like I want

to look at all the details

before I make a decision and I

need to make a decision on an

informed basis and I think it's important that we have this

process. I'm not coming at this

from some ideological or fixed

position. I am open minded. I

want to see that this is the

best way toinse ulate

Australians from this worldwide

economic crisis tsunami that's

rolling across the Pacific and

across the Indian Ocean. I

think we need to deal with this

responsibly and let the Senate

do its job. It won't take too

long and I think at the end of

the day Australians will thank

us for doing the right thing in terms of scrutinising

legislation appropriately. Are

there any particular amendments

you're already thinking of?

Actually I'm not thinking of

any amendments. I just want to

process. I get through this inquiry

process. I think that would

pre-empt the inquiry process. I

genuinely want there to be a

robust, open and comprehensive

inquiry process so we can get

key answers to important

questions about how this

package will work, what

economic modelling's been done.

Once we have those answers then

I think there's some scope to

sit down with the Government if

there are any issues arising

Nick out of that inquiry. Finally

Nick Zenophon, do you accept the Opposition's argument at

this is just too big and

reckless? I guess we need an

inquiry process to look at

that. I think what we need to

look at in the context of

what's been going on around the

world, our - as a proportion of

GDP, this will be about 2% of

the debt that we'll face and

that's significant but it is

still a precably lower than

still a precably lower than

other countries and that's a

question I would like to put to

Treasury, the impact it will

have on the Australian economy

in the longer term for our kids