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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 8591

Senator LUDWIG (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (5:53 PM) —We do understand that there have been discussions on amendments (1) and (2), and on that basis we will not oppose them. I understand, similarly, there have been discussions on amendments (3) to (5). We did understand that there was a different position on amendment (6). Instead of the wording indicated in the opposition’s amendment, the government would prefer the wording, ‘The CEO may not develop a reasonable concern under this section about the clinical relevance of a particular service.’ I am not sure we got to an agreed position. We would prefer that wording to the wording that is in the opposition’s amendment. On that basis, we will not be agreeing to opposition amendment (6), unless the opposition wants to amend its wording to accord with what I have just indicated. I understand that our position is to agree to amendment (7), which relates to schedule 1 item 2. We also indicate that we will not oppose amendment (8).

More broadly, we understand that the opposition supports the intent of the bill, and on the basis which I have outlined we are happy to support the majority of the amendments which have been negotiated in good faith. However, as the process has been brought on earlier than we had anticipated—the discussions I understand have not quite concluded on amendment (6)—that does leave us in a bit of a quandary and we would prefer to maintain our opposition to that amendment.

Question agreed to.