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Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1059

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (18:54): You are correct: the exemption currently runs until the end of 28 November 2018. This bill will, if passed by the Senate, bring this exemption forward to 31 August 2017, and this is obviously key to ensure that there is a level playing field for all involved, regardless of their size, as soon as possible. And I have been very up-front with the Senate: the government's preferred position was that the provisions commenced following gazettal. But we also acknowledge that that was not the preferred position of the Senate, and we are very happy that we have been able to work constructively with the crossbench, and Senator Hinch in particular, to put in place a nine-month transition period—bearing in mind that April 2014 was when notice was first given.