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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4067

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (10:02): It's unfortunate that this debate has become a matter of the government versus the Greens. It is much broader than that. The issue currently before us is whether dealing with this legislation is urgent. The government asserts that it is urgent, and its statement of reasons—and thank you to the minister for circulating it—

Senator Rice: Not urgently!

Senator LEYONHJELM: Not urgently, quite so—simply an assertion that it is urgent. There is no reason why it is urgent. It doesn't say a national emergency or something bad is going to happen if these bills are not passed. Nothing bad is going to happen if these bills are not passed. We have had elections and by-elections before. Nothing will happen that hasn't happened before if these bills are not passed. There is simply no good reason why we can't debate these when we return in August, having had the opportunity of considering the final versions of the bills, amended according to the recommendations of the PJCIS, with more than 24 hours notice. There is no explanation for why we can't have sufficient time to consider the amended bills in this statement. It's just an assertion. There is no justification for this urgency.