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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 8600

Senator SIEWERT (7:37 PM) —I indicate that the Greens will not be supporting this amendment. I have put on record that the Greens are concerned about privacy, which is why we tried to move those previous amendments—we deeply believe that the decision making should be with a medical practitioner. However, that relates to decision making rather than this particular section. If you read this as I presume it is intended to be read, it applies to all of section 129AAG(7)(2), and that means that a medical practitioner would be the person who is responsible for doing the photocopying, keeping copies et cetera—in other words, all the administration work. While I know that medical practitioners are capable of multitasking, I am sure that is not what Senator Fielding is trying to achieve.

So we support the intent and we are very concerned about the protection of privacy, which is obvious from the amendments that we unsuccessfully moved, but we cannot support this amendment because it will have unintended consequences. I am sure that is not what Senator Fielding intended, but unfortunately that is the case and we cannot support it. We would perhaps support an amendment to this amendment but, as it stands at the moment, it is totally impractical and will not achieve its objective. It will just tie the process up and will not make the audit process any easier, which is what we are trying to achieve with this bill.