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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2480

Senator MISSEN(3.48) —Senator Lewis has very carefully disposed of the arguments put by the Minister. He has pointed out that the legislation does not increase rights; an existing right is being taken away. I agree with what was said by Senator Lewis and Senator Macklin. If Senator Lewis were wrong and the Minister were right, his advisers would be telling him immediately to get up and object to this amendment. It could not be an amendment, it would be a request. Under section 53 of the Constitution the Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people. The Minister is not taking that point of view. He is not being advised by his advisers to suggest that the legislation is increasing the burden, because it is not. He is taking away something which will be a burden on these people but will certainly relieve the taxpayers of some payment. By his own actions he condemns himself. He shows that he is not validly adopting this attitude and that what Senator Lewis has been saying about this matter all along is right. What the Minister has been saying is totally wrong.