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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1016

The SPEAKER (12:31): Prior to moving that the House consider the bill in detail, I have a statement I wish to read to the House concerning the amendments circulated by the opposition earlier this morning.

My attention has been drawn to the detailed stage amendments circulated by the honourable member for Port Adelaide. I am concerned about the amendments on two grounds: first, it is arguable that they could in fact constitute the initiation of a proposal to impose or increase or change the scope of a charge contrary to standing order 179(a); second, that 179(b) of the standing orders provides:

Only a Minister may move an amendment to the proposal which increases or extends the scope of the charge proposed beyond the total already existing under any Act of Parliament.

If I understand it correctly, there may be some doubt as to the impact of bringing forward the date of the commencement of the emissions trading scheme, which is the substance of the honourable member's amendments. On one hand, the amendments should be allowed to stand as it could be argued the expected and likely effect of the calculation of the proposed liability may not exceed that set by the current law. On the other hand, because there could in fact be no certainty, it would be legally possible that the amendments would have the effect that the liability would exceed that provided under the current law. In my view the uncertainty is too great to allow the amendments to proceed. Accordingly, I am not prepared to allow them to be moved in their present form.