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Tuesday, 15 December 1992
Page: 5097

Senator BURNS (12.58 a.m.) —At his provocative best, Senator Parer has managed to elicit a response from me. Of course, Senator Parer keeps talking about the real world and, in the real world, things change daily. We are not voting for the Bill, we are voting for the amended Bill. The amendment we proposed, which has changed the fundamental nature of the Bill as far as we are concerned, addresses the concerns Mr Chipp has expressed as an opinion. He is welcome to have his opinions.

  I share one of the opinions expressed there that if we have any capacity to reduce the authority of so-called bully boys in this then we should take that opportunity. We should not be like the hypocritical coalition senators who sit there and say that they want to do something about it. When coalition senators have the opportunity to vote in support of the concept and practicality of secret ballots, they cringe on the other side saying, `We must not vote because somebody else thought of it', or, `We must not vote for something because we are afeard that it will not do the whole job'. Was I knocked over by the clamour of Opposition senators rushing to my door to try to help bring about the system of secret ballots which would work? No. We just see them comfortably sitting back, with their usual hypocritical manner, saying that it will not work. Unable to amend and perfect legislation, they are gleefully rubbing their hands at the prospect that it might not work. I think this will work. That is why we are voting for the amended Bill.

  Question put:

  That the amendment (Senator Cook's), as amended, be agreed to.