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Monday, 7 July 2014
Page: 4156

Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (10:50): Mr President, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, I also rise to congratulate you on your election. As you are well aware, the Senate has a key role in Australia's democracy, a key role in the nation's democracy, a role that reflects the very different configuration that the Senate has as a matter of course—not only this Senate—from that of the House of Representatives, where government is formed. The Senate is the chamber where there is much greater scrutiny applied to legislation, to policy. It is the chamber where committee work that is important to consideration of a legislative agenda is done. It is the chamber—let us be frank—where executive government is held to account in a way it cannot be in the House of Representatives. Because of that, fairness and impartiality need to be brought to the position you now hold. I know, from working with you in your previous role as Deputy President, that you hold a deep respect for the role the Senate has in the nation's democracy. On behalf of Labor senators, on behalf of the opposition, I congratulate you on your election.