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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7822

Senator RICE (Victoria) (10:41): That doesn't give me any satisfaction at all. We have just found through the High Court case on equal marriage that there is a $295 million line in the budget each year that we understood was for urgent and unforeseen circumstances but that the High Court has now found is basically there as a fund for whatever the government of the day wants to fund. So you have that ability to essentially hand out loans to suit the political purposes of the government without the parliamentary oversight that would be appropriate in such a scheme. We haven't got a problem with having loans schemes. There should be much stricter controls included in the legislation, not leaving so much power in the hands of the ministers.