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Wednesday, 17 November 2004
Page: 117

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) (4:10 PM) —Senator Ludwig knows—and I made this clear in the chamber this morning during a debate on the Senate sittings—that we will be presenting a list. The situation is—as Senator Ludwig clearly respects, as indicated by his very sound remarks—unusual in that the government has just been returned. The government has sworn in the ministers just a few days ago. Those ministers bring forward, through the cabinet processes, the bills they would like to see passed before 1 January and we make our own assessments. I promised this morning to provide a list in exactly the terms that Senator Ludwig alluded to. It will allow all senators and all people in Australia to know what bills we expect to have passed by Christmas.

In my address to the Senate at around 9.45 this morning I alluded to something in the order of 20 or 25 packages of legislation which we will be seeking to have passed. I alluded to that exact process: there will be a list and this is how many bills will be on it. We will be seeking passage of those bills and we will be working with the Senate to do that. I indicated that a sensible way to do that—and this is only advice to the leaders, the whips and the incoming manager—would be to try to allocate times to all of those bills and spread the load out over the next fortnight rather than seeing it all bank up on the last day or two as normally happens. Those were the very comments I made only a few hours ago.

Question agreed to.