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Thursday, 4 December 2014
Page: 10259


Senator KIM CARR (Victoria) (16:00): Mr President, we have had the most irregular of procedures here where a bill has been brought on, no speakers' list has been distributed—I have not seen it. I have responsibility for the coverage of this matter. I understood there were senators in continuation and you are seeking to put the question. I think we are entitled to know what stage this bill is at, given that the government has brought this matter on through some shady deal with the crossbenchers and without distribution of the speakers' list or proposed amendments.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you.

Government senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Fifield! Senator Macdonald, I will respond to this first. I am not taking any further points of order at the moment. Senator Carr, I will explain what happened. There was a lot of confusion, I am sure, because no-one on this side stood. I looked across all chamber—

An honourable senator interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order! The clerk had called the bill.

Senator Wong interjecting

The PRESIDENT: No, Senator Wong, I will explain what has happened before I take any further commentary.

Senator Wong interjecting

The PRESIDENT: I am addressing the chamber, Senator Wong.

Senator Wong interjecting

The PRESIDENT: I am addressing the chamber, Senator Wong. You will resume your seat!

Senator Ian Macdonald: Throw her out!

The PRESIDENT: And I don't need assistance from you, Senator Macdonald. What has happened, Senator Carr, was that I looked across and no-one, not one senator, rose to their feet until Senator Abetz did, and he put the bill. Then I called it. Now, because there was confusion on your part on that side and no-one was prepared, I am very happy for the bill to be called on and you seek the call in the second reading debate. I am very happy for that to happen, but I want senators to clearly understand that it is also your responsibility to listen to the clerk when the clerk calls upon a bill, to actually show some respect to the chamber, to actually listen to the proceedings, follow the proceedings and then it is up to you to seek the call. Senator Carr, are you ready to take the call? Senator Carr!

Government senators: Take the call!

The PRESIDENT: Order on my right! Senator Siewert, do you have a point of order?

Senator Siewert: No, I want to make a point about what happened, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT: I think I have just done that, Senator Siewert.

Senator Siewert: No, you haven't, with all due respect. Senator Canavan is in continuance on this bill. We were expecting the senator who is in continuance on this bill to take the call.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you for that clarification, Senator Siewert.

Senator Siewert: There is a list and we also expect that for the person who is going to be in continuance you give them the respect to get to their place to stand up to speak.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Siewert. I think I clearly explained that no-one sought the call. Not one senator sought the call until Senator Abetz, after a fairly lengthy period, sought the call. We have now resolved that. Senator Canavan did not seek the call. I am giving the call to Senator Carr, so I think the matter is resolved and I will not take any more points of order on the matter. Senator Carr, you have the call in the second reading debate.