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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2421

Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) (12.42 p.m.) —The Australian Democrats will be supporting this amendment. I would like to have had the opportunity to see it before now. Senator Patterson said that it was distributed yesterday. Unfortunately, we did not come across it and, therefore, I moved a very similar motion this morning. I believe that this has gone on for far too long. The Democrats have been pushing for this to be considered for over three years now, and I am very pleased that we now have the opportunity to do so.

  Because we were not able to discuss this with Senator Patterson, I hesitate on the date. We need to wait for the RAS report first. Also, I do not believe that this gives us sufficient opportunity to look at the current hardships, but we can probably work on those amendments later. I move as an amendment to Senator Patterson's amendment:

  At the end of the motion, add

"but the Senate condemns the Government and the Liberal and National Parties for:

    (a)combining to raise the pension age for women from 60 to 65; and

    (b)failing to recognise the harsh impact of this measure on older Australian women, particularly those in low-income and casual employment with little or no access to superannuation".