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Labor and Senate will hold Abbott Government to account



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SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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LABOR AND SENATE WILL HOLD ABBOTT GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT

Labor is moving to strengthen the Senate’s critical role of holding the Government to account.

Today, Labor has lodged notices of motions that will safeguard the Senate’s role as a house of review and enhance its ability to scrutinise legislation, policy and administration.

Labor’s motions strengthen the role of Senate Estimates committees, affirm the accountability of the Australian Public Service to the Parliament, and explicitly reject attempts by Ministers in the Abbott Government to avoid scrutiny.

Our proposals are a response to the Prime Minister’s broken promises on transparency and accountability.

Since the 2013 election the Abbott Government has used stonewalling, bullying and evasive tactics in the Senate, including long delays in providing answers to questions on notice, obstructionist behaviour in Estimates hearings and, in at least one case, the misleading of the Senate by a Minister resulting in censure.

Forty-three non-Government Senators and thirty-three Government Senators will sit in the Senate from 1 July.

Before new cross-bench Senators take their seats the Prime Minister has tried to bully them into passing his unfair, unaffordable and unpopular Budget measures.

Labor’s move to strengthen Senate procedures will ensure all Senators have the capacity to do the job they were elected to do.

TUESDAY, 24 JUNE 2014

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