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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2256

Senator CHAMARETTE (11.55 a.m.) —I wish to ease Senator Patterson's anxiety as to the position of the Greens. The Greens are not happy about any of the amendments that are being considered at the moment. We would definitely prefer the position that has been put so well by Senator Woodley, that the whole issue be put off until the income and assets test review is finalised later this year. To comment on the opposition's amendment, if Senator Herron's party had stuck with the point he was raising earlier, its amendment would not have moved that it commence at some time in the future; but that the change should start at midnight the day before it is decided in the Senate. That would be a way of providing that no unfairness or windfalls could occur. If we were to be entirely consistent with the point that legislation should determine the change, rather than an executive decision or negotiation, we would have a different kind of amendment coming from the opposition.

  In the event that we have once again the kind of choice of the lesser of evils—and it is not two, but three in this case—the Greens indicate that we will support the Democrat amendment, even though we would infinitely prefer the preferable position put by Senator Woodley.