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Friday, 19 November 1993
Page: 3252

Senator WATSON —by leave—I recognise that these are, indeed, extraordinary circumstances. I acknowledge that there is fault, certainly on my part. I think this is the first time that I have requested such a recommittal. But we are dealing with fundamental issues involving people's rights and access to superannuation moneys. I see nothing wrong with a principle which requires a determination first to be made before those moneys can be withdrawn, particularly from a superannuation fund. We are talking only about Commonwealth government employees, between one Commonwealth agency and another.

  I apologise to the Senate and to the Australian Democrats for the lack of negotiation. It was not my bill but, having been responsible for drawing up the amendment, I take full responsibility for what has been done. I apologise for the short delay; I also apologise to my colleague Senator Reid. But we on this side are very concerned about the issue. The process I am requesting is unusual, but it is necessary in order to protect fully the due process, the protection of superannuation moneys and the rights of Commonwealth employees.

  Senator Watson's motion negatived.

  Original question resolved in the affirmative.

  Report adopted.