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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8082


Senator ALLISON (3:24 AM) —It is clear that the ALP is not going to support our amendment (4), and amendment (5) was really a fall-back situation. We now have a five per cent target. I am happy for those two amendments not to be put. I seek leave to withdraw Democrat amendments (4) and (5).

Leave granted.


Senator ALLISON —The Democrats oppose item 152 in schedule 1 in the following terms:

Schedule 1, item 152, page 34 (lines 15 and 16), TO BE OPPOSED.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Bolkus)—The question is that item 152 in schedule 1 stand as printed.


Senator ALLISON —This reflects the fact that we are opposing the government's desire to get rid of the requirement that draft regulations be made available for public comment for a period of not less than 30 days before the regulations are made. These are very complex issues that we are dealing with tonight and I am sure the regulations would benefit from public comment. It is a minor amendment.

While I am on my feet I want to respond to the minister's suggestion that, if this bill does not pass, the whole measure is put in some doubt. That is clearly a nonsense. We are dealing with worthwhile amendments; there is no question of that, but I do not think it is make or break, Senator Macdonald. In fact, your second reading speech says they are minor amendments. They are fixing up and tidying up but we know that the regulator has fairly wide powers and much of this could be done. I understand the need to improve those technicalities but to suggest that this whole measure will fall over and be a complete failure is really a bit of an exaggeration, to say the least.