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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5644

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (18:23): The section does not say whether the minister should take it into account. It says, on what is to be tabled in the parliament, the fact that some or all of these documents do not exist does not affect the validity of the designation. It is not about what the minister took into account back in his office. You are abandoning the convention. You are abandoning natural justice. You are handing everything over to the minister and saying that the parliament is ultimately responsible, because we are abandoning the courts, we are abandoning the convention and we are abandoning natural justice. You are saying that we are going to table the designation for people in the parliament so that they can make a judgment about whether to approve it or not. You have said, 'Oh, it's the parliament that is the ultimate.' Now you say that it is not invalid if all of the required documents are not there. Even if none of them are there it would not matter. According to this, it could be raced through parliament with Liberal and Labor deciding to get together and race through a country designation, regardless of whether any of these documents actually exist or not.