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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7244

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:36 AM) — During this debate there have been questions about my motives, my intentions and my commitment to the Senate process from time to time. I can take all that because I am defending a position. I did not have time to read the Scrutiny of Bills Committee report yesterday, because I have been a little preoccupied, as have been some other senators who have spent the whole of this week sitting in this chamber. But I do have very high regard for two Senate committees: the Scrutiny of Bills Committee and the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. The regs and ords committee has not lost a debate in this house since 1932, I think. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee has no power but it has the influence to question. When I saw the Scrutiny of Bills Committee report, I believed it was appropriate for me to try and negotiate a position. I think that shows that I am not intransigent and that I will actually move when I think it is appropriate. I will be supporting these amendments because I believe they do what is required and also meet the concerns expressed by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee report. I will be supporting these two amendments.