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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4068

Senator PATRICK (South Australia) (10:07): I rise to support the sentiment of the Greens and, indeed, the crossbench in stating that this is complex legislation. Whilst the legislation has been considered in great detail by that committee, the information that's flowed out from that has flowed to us only very, very recently. We are not permitted to participate in the PJCIS, and so no-one could argue that there has been any ability for us to read and digest the information in that time frame.

I take Senator Leyonhjelm's point about the minister not really explaining the urgency. Normally you have to ground a claim when you make it, and it doesn't do you any favours, Minister, in not doing so here today. I make the point also that last week in the chamber I faced a round of criticism for not allowing debate on another bill, which I would argue was much, much simpler. I had the Labor Party heckling me across the chamber. I had Senator Wong accusing me of being in bed with Senator Cormann. I think the words were, 'When Senator Cormann says jump, Senator Patrick says, "How high?"' I don't know why this doesn't translate into this particular debate.

Senator Wong: We're having a debate! You didn't even let us have a debate. We're having a debate—

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, you were heard in silence.

Senator Wong: What a hypocrite!

Senator PATRICK: Yes, 'hypocrite' is the word that springs to mind here, in that Senator Wong is seeking to restrict debate on this particular matter.

Last week what I saw happen was that the Labor Party stood outside this chamber and suggested that, on tax cuts, they would only support stage 1; they wouldn't support stage 2. The first thing they did when they walked into the chamber was move a motion to support stage 1 and stage 2. That left me relatively confused. What I then drew from that was that there was to be an extended debate, a filibustering of the whole process, and for that reason we agreed with the government that it was just a tactic. But I don't understand exactly what is happening here. We'd like to have quite a lengthy discussion on this. We would have liked to have dealt with the bills separately. That, of course, has been denied us by an agreement by two parties that have shared the love inside the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security but not the information.