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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4275


Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (10:26): First, Minister, I'd like to go to the issue of urgency, which has been claimed repeatedly by the government and the opposition on what I believe to be totally spurious grounds. We've had numerous pieces of public commentary from government ministers over the last couple of weeks that said that these bills had to be passed before the by-elections occurred. So I'd like you, Minister, please, to explain whether that is still the government's position—that these bills are urgent because of the up coming by-elections. If you are still going to claim that as a position, could you explain why? If you are going to walk away from that position, could you explain why so many government ministers were on the public record as saying that these bills needed to be passed before the by-elections, when, if you are walking away from that position, that is an admission that they do not need to be passed before the by-elections?