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Thursday, 3 February 1994
Page: 299

Senator IAN MACDONALD (10.05 a.m.) —I support my leader's concern about this matter. I am sorry that Senator Coulter is ill and I wish him well and a speedy recovery. However, this is a concern to me. I understand that neither the Democrats nor the Greens are ready for this bill. I am handling it on behalf of Mrs Gallus and was not ready either, but I ensured that by doing some work last night my staff and I were able to get the matter under control.

  It is of some concern that we find out this morning that it is not going on. I also note that the space bill is coming on a bit earlier. As a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Transport, Communication and Infrastructure which made a report on matters that I understand are being taken up in that bill, I wanted to speak on that legislation. However, I am not ready to do so now because I have been concentrating on this bill. I do not suppose that will receive much consideration from the Greens or the Democrats.

  It concerns me that various factions of the Labor Party rearrange the program as they did yesterday to suit themselves. There are winks and nods all the way along and the three groups of the Labor Party look after themselves. We do not seem to be taken into account when these things are being considered.

  I am concerned about this change in the order of business and not only the change in the position of the wet tropics bill, but also the change in the order of all those other bills in such a way that will cause disruption to us. It is no wonder that the government cannot run the country even with the help of its allies, the Democrats and the Greens, if it cannot even get the order of today's program correct.