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Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Page: 5458

Senator ABETZ (6:03 PM) —I briefly indicate that the opposition will not be supporting Senator Xenophon’s amendments. The opposition had similar concerns to Senator Xenophon’s. There is the potential—but I think that potential is also a reality for some—to use the scheme for purposes for which it was not intended. The government has indicated to us—

Senator Xenophon —It’s called rorting.

Senator ABETZ —I heard that in your introductory comments, Senator Xenophon, and I thought I would not go quite that far. The chances are that what you are saying is right. We saw that as a deficiency that needed to be addressed. We have been convinced by the government that, by way of regulation, the matter can be addressed. In those circumstances, we are willing to accept the government’s approach on this. I think that, in general terms, the issue of not achieving the desired policy outcomes—which Senator Xenophon calls rorting—will be addressed through the government’s mechanism, which we accept as workable and doable. We think it will achieve the policy outcomes that we believe are desirable in relation to the matters raised.