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Tuesday, 15 March 2005
Page: 89

Senator GREIG (6:31 PM) —These are perhaps the more interesting amendments put forward by the opposition. Their purpose is to give members of parliament standing to appear before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of a decision affecting a constituent. I suspect that all of us in this chamber are frequently contacted by constituents seeking assistance in relation to an infinite range of grievances. Often it can be difficult or inappropriate to provide the assistance sought, particularly when legal proceedings are underfoot. However, the Democrats do agree with the opposition that it is entirely appropriate for members of parliament to assist their constituents when they have been aggrieved by a faulty decision-making process. By giving members of parliament standing to seek a review on behalf of their constituents, these amendments will, I think, better equip all of us to assist and advocate for the interests of our constituents. They will enable us to serve our electorates more effectively and perhaps enhance the process of democracy. We are pleased to offer our support for these amendments.