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Thursday, 11 March 2004
Page: 21356

Senator ALLISON (11:56 AM) —I move Democrat amendment (1) on sheet 4139 revised:

(1) Page 2 (after line 2), after clause 3, add:

4 Review of the operation of Act

(1) The Minister must initiate, by the third anniversary of the day on which this Act commences, a review of the operation, effectiveness and impli-cations of this Act.

(2) In selecting a person to conduct the review required by this section, the Minister must seek and select a person from nominations received from independent academic institutions.

(3) The Minister must cause to be tabled in both Houses of the Parliament a copy of the report of the review within 15 sitting days of receiving the report.

This amendment would require the government, by the third anniversary of the day on which the act commences, to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of the act. I think that is really important. As we debate the issue here today, anomalies arise and we will discuss those, and there are question marks about the inflationary impacts of this package and the effectiveness, for instance, of the extended primary care plan. I think all the measures in this bill deserve some sort of review after three years because of the doubts about the effectiveness of them.

This bill is specifically about the safety net. But so much else will come into such a review because the safety net is going to be a measure of how well or otherwise the system is working. The more people on the safety net, the more we know that costs have spiralled out of control. I would strongly recommend that the Senate support the review. It is not unusual for us to review pieces of legislation in this place after a period of time to see whether or not they are working. It is a small ask of the government. It would give us an opportunity to not only see what has happened but also push along a serious analysis of the situation and for that to be made public, not just something that the government does and perhaps hides the results of. I think this is a very important amendment, though not a highly significant one in terms of cost or what it is calling for on the government's part.