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Tuesday, 3 December 1985
Page: 2757


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(11.14) —The Senate will be surprised to know that the Government will not vote in support of the motion! Senator Haines has clearly pointed out, with eminent good sense, why the Australia Card part of the legislation should not go to a committee; it is already going to a committee. If we sent the Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) to a committee for the next ten years we would not change the views of Senator Sheil, Senator Walters and Senator Knowles, who have spoken on it, on the powers of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. That would be an exercise in utter futility.

The Opposition does not oppose the changes to the penalties for fraud and overservicing. It does not oppose the changes to the 3B certificates. As Senator Haines has said, I think this is one of a series of mischievous attempts to refer matters of this type to an already overburdened committee system. I will be interested to see whether Senator Puplick remains consistent even in Opposition in his attitude to whether certain things should be referred to certain committees. He may get the opportunity to express his views on that in the next few days or months in this place. We will see about consistency then. I see no good sense at all in referring this legislation to a Senate committee.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Puplick's) be agreed to.