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Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Page: 2169

Senator RICE (Victoria) (17:27): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator RICE: Attempting to bring this bill on for debate at this time is yet another cynical stunt by the Labor Party that is designed to stall Senate voting reform. We only saw Senator Cameron's bill for the first time yesterday, and the temporary work visa inquiry that addresses these issues is yet to report. The inquiry has uncovered serious abuses of people's rights at work, and its findings deserve a serious response. Debating this bill this week is not that. In the short amount of time we have had to examine Senator Cameron's bill, it is clear that it does contain many positive provisions that will address challenges facing workers including, for example, sham contracting. The Greens are very likely to support the bill; however, it contains complex amendments and needs to go through a proper committee process. I note that my colleague Adam Bandt, the member for Melbourne, has already introduced a bill that would protect franchise workers, and it was the Greens who moved to include the abuses that 7-Eleven were committing in the temporary work visa inquiry. Labor are going on and on about due process for Senate reforms yet, when it comes to protecting rights at work, Senator Cameron is just dumping a bill on the Senate.