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Tuesday, 7 September 1993
Page: 1020


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) (10.54 a.m.) —I am afraid I have to say that Senator Patterson has rather lost the plot. We only have today to consider the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill and we cannot afford to have the matter ricochet backwards and forwards between the houses. The government has made it very plain that it certainly will not accept these amendments. We have pushed it to the wire and, although we have won the battle, we have not won the war. Therefore, reluctantly the Democrats will be accepting the government amendments and we call on the opposition to do the same. We simply cannot put at risk what we have got to date. It is taking the bird in the hand and worrying afterwards about chasing the rest of the flock. Grandstanding now by the Liberal Party is not going to achieve anything except putting this whole issue at risk. Therefore, we will not be supporting what Senator Patterson has done.

  Question put:

  That the amendment (Senator Patterson's) to government amendment No. 4 be agreed to.