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Thursday, 26 September 2002
Page: 4983

Senator FAULKNER (Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (12:03 PM) —In relation to the amendment that is before the chair, the principle that applies here is this: the penalties in relation to these offences need to reflect the seriousness of the offences that are committed. That is the principle that I think should apply. That is the principle that I think is shared with my colleagues in the federal parliamentary Labor Party. We have looked closely at this legislation. We had very serious concerns with the original bill. I outlined them in my speech in the second reading debate and I do not intend to revisit those concerns again. The government has moved or been forced to move to deal with those issues. In relation to this amendment the principle is that the penalties need to reflect the seriousness of the offences that are committed. As far as the Labor Party is concerned, we think the current bill gets that balance right. We will not support the amendment.

Question negatived.

Senator Faulkner —You were one vote short of a division, Bob.

Senator Brown —It was a very close matter, Senator Faulkner, when you consider the arguments which preceded it. I do accede that only the Greens supported that amendment.

Senator Faulkner —Only a Green, Senator Brown.

Senator Brown —I am speaking—

Senator Faulkner —I am sure you accurately reflected Senator Nettle, were she here.

Senator Brown —As it was her amendment, I think you are quite correct.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Lightfoot)—You should not let Senator Faulkner divert you from your next amendment, Senator Brown.

Senator Brown —I always like to listen to what Senator Faulkner has to say.

TEMPORARY CHAIR —Perhaps you could do that outside the chamber on this occasion.

Senator Faulkner —That's a bit hard when we are both inside the chamber.