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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7128


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (12:29): These are the amendments, as I understand, that are actually Greens amendments that Senator Macdonald chose to bring upon himself to move on our behalf, because he considered that the debate was not moving fast enough. This debate was in fact about extremely important issues that both Senator Xenophon and Senator Ludlam were raising and asking the Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, about because he had not been answering the questions—very relevant and important questions—that the senators had been asking about the Alert Digest from the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. That committee had circulated the issues that they had raised with the Attorney-General through the process and the Alert Digest had highlighted many of those issues. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee raised a large number of issues about this bill.

It is deeply concerning that Senator Macdonald took it on himself to move our amendments, when we were in the process of asking questions that go to the heart of this bill. It is extremely concerning. I just wanted to put on the record that we were deeply concerned that Senator Macdonald moved our amendments. I have made my contribution, and I encourage other people to engage in the debate.