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Monday, 14 March 2005
Page: 94

Senator CARR (7:48 PM) —The opposition would like to place on the record our concern at amendments of this type being dropped on us without consultation and without an opportunity to consider them. I received this amendment just before the break. On this side of the chamber there was an agreement about a second reading amendment, which I thought was the appropriate way to deal with these questions. So I am disappointed that a proposition like this could be presented.

Individually, there is not one thing in the amendment that I would not find considerable merit in, but I do not like the way the amendment is expressed. I think it is clumsy and I think that there are provisions in the amendment that are unclear. I would have thought that you could have cleaned all of that up if there had been some talk. I understand that there is some concern about matters not coming back from the Clerk’s office, but this is not necessarily the best way to do business in this chamber. Unfortunately, we are now in a situation where we cannot adjourn this any further. I have consulted with my colleagues on the select committee, and each one of these points was covered in the Senate report. For that reason, we will not be opposing this second reading amendment. But I do say to you that we could have improved this amendment substantially if we had had an opportunity to discuss the matter with you.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Knowles)—The question is that the Australian Democrats’ second reading amendment moved by Senator Ridgeway be agreed to.

Question agreed to.

Original question, as amended, agreed to.

Bill read a second time.