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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8310


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (13:34): I am conscious that Senator Milne was also seeking the call. In relation to the uncertainty issue, caps are set in advance of five years, so that does provide a significant amount of certainty. In relation to the first question, of whether a different government could set a less ambitious target—

Senator Xenophon: By disallowable instrument.

Senator WONG: yes, it could. This is assuming that there is no other amendment to the legislation. Obviously, if there is an amendment to the legislation we are in a different world—correct? Sorry?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Marshall ): There is some discussion going on across the chamber without people having the call, so if people want things actually recorded in Hansard they need to seek the call and have it on the record.

Senator WONG: I will try. As I understand it, Senator Xenophon is asking whether any future government, were this legislation able to be passed, could alter the five per cent target to be less ambitious—to make it a three per cent target, for example. My response to that is: assuming no other change to the legislation—because obviously a subsequent parliament can change legislation—yes it could, but that would also be a disallowable instrument.