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Monday, 24 June 1996
Page: 2052


Senator KERNOT (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(5.07 p.m.) —The Democrats will not be supporting this exemption either, but we did support the exemption for the bill which relates to the ATSIC election being held in October. We thought the government made a reasonable case for why we should consider that bill now. I am mindful of what has been said by previous speakers. I agree with much of what has been said. There are changes in this bill, and those changes require consultation.

This really has come quickly upon us. We have not been appropriately warned ourselves, let alone Aboriginal communities, about the timing of the introduction of this bill. While we have been prepared to look at each bill on its merits, there is such a difference between what is proposed in the ATSIC bill No. 1 and in this bill that we cannot proceed hastily without being able to go back and ask Aboriginal communities, and the Senate, what they think about the changes between the first debate here, the committee stage, the Senate select committee, and the revisited recommendations of the Senate select committee. We could not do that this week. It would be very inappropriate to do it. We can wait until the next session without any problem at all, in my view.