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Labor creates another Senate shambles



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

November 27, 1995 . 45/95

LABOR CREATES ANOTHER SENATE SHAMBLES

Senate Opposition Leader Robert Hill has accused the Keating Government of attempting to railroad legislation through the Senate.

Senator Hill says the Government's legislative program has once again degenerated into a hopeless shambles putting at risk the Senate's ability to properly scrutinise legislation.

"Labor never seems to learn the lesson that it must plan and manage its program effectively from day one. It tries to pull this stunt at the end of every session.

"Labor, through its own mismanagement, allows a backlog of legislation to build up and then attempts to ram through a whole raft of legislation in the final days of the session."

Senator Hill says this tactic is clearly illustrated by the Government introducing nearly 30 bills in the past three weeks on top of the already crowded schedule.

"The Government will try to blame the Coalition and the minor parties for its own inept management of its program and accuse us of trying to stall important legislation. The truth of the matter is that some of the legislation that Labor says is so important for the Senate to deal with has not even been introduced yet.

"The extent of the mess the Government has created for itself is shown in the amount of legislation which it wants to put through. The Government wants the Senate to consider 44 bills in the final five days of sitting." .

Senator Hill says the only assumption that can be drawn from the Government's behaviour is that it wants to limit the effectiveness of the Senate in scrutinising the legislation..

"The Government clearly has a direct interest in preventing the Senate from debating the impact of its legislation on ordinary Australians.

"Leaving the politics of the legislation aside, the Senate plays a vital role in identifying, highlighting and amending legislative flaws in Government bills.

"This Government-created rush of legislation could result in bad laws being passed, creating the potential for financial loss to the Commonwealth and even further work for future sessions when amendments need to be passed."

For further comment contact Matt Brown on (06) 277 3170 or 015 396 773.