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Friday, 15 November 2002
Page: 6516

Senator HARRADINE (1:17 PM) —I have listened carefully to the various remarks, including those in the second reading stage of the debate, in respect of the previous motion—the motion to split the bill—and this current motion. I look on the question as one of being able to make do and to do what it is necessary to do in regard to the areas that are non-contentious. If this goes ahead, then the contentious issues can be discussed and hopefully some sort of agreement reached in respect of the issues.

I am mindful of the fact that the Manager of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Ian Campbell, told us the day before yesterday that there are 40 bills to get through between now and Christmas. If we adopt this procedure, we will at least get a substantial piece of legislation through. To the credit of the government, it has looked at this measure and felt that this is important, and of course it is because it is beneficial for the recipients. I would hope that the House of Representatives would not adopt that attitude, since we are trying to see that at least something gets in the statute books that is beneficial and is proposed by the government and supported, as I understand it, by all parties in the Senate. It is under those circumstances that I am supporting the motion. Let us come to the merits of the bill, which appear to be of some contention around the place after discussions have been taken up outside the chamber in an attempt to achieve some reconciliation of the various viewpoints.