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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2896

Senator JACK EVANS(10.55) —I make just a couple of points, having suffered a little from the invective thrown about the chamber by Senator Messner while Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle was speaking. The position of the Australian Democrats needs to be made quite clear. We have moved an amendment which, constitutionally, is in order.

Senator Messner —It cannot be passed by the House of Representatives.

Senator JACK EVANS —The amendment was not moved for frivolous reasons. It is an amendment which can be passed by the House of Representatives. Senator Messner is totally unaware of the fact that the House of Representatives is willing to come back if the Senate passes amendments to any of the legislation that it wants to have resolved before the Budget session. This Bill is important enough for it to be resolved. All that we heard from Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle was the disappointing and pathetic excuse for not calling a division on her own amendment to the second reading motion last night, that it would have taken up five minutes of the Senate's time. My God, I do not think I have ever heard such an excuse, and I do not think the Senate has ever heard such an excuse, for failing to call a division on a motion in respect of which the mover knew she had the numbers.

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle —How would we know where your numbers are?

Senator JACK EVANS —I had already given notice that the Australian Democrats would support Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle's amendment. I come back to the amendment I have moved, and again throw down the gauntlet to the Opposition to support it and show that it has some element of sympathy for the position of the pensioners and superannuitants in this country by at least giving them some opportunity to plan ahead, to know that they will have a reliable figure at which the tax change takes place.