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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 5098


Senator SHERRY (Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)(5.47 p.m.) —I want to make a couple of points about this item on behalf of the Labor Party. In terms of the wider progress of the bill, I would like to draw to the attention of the chamber that the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Faulkner, on behalf of the Labor opposition raised with the government today the issue of sitting on the Monday evening of the next sitting week if necessary. I also understand that there are some discussions going on about using general business time this week to discuss the bill. This schedule includes the considerable majority of the concerns that we have. I certainly anticipate that the pace at which we move will considerably accelerate once we are beyond schedule 5.

The government seeks to provide that the commission can only arbitrate as a last resort and within limits specified in section 89A(2) of the act. We want to amend this so that the commission can arbitrate when necessary. It should be noted that what we are proposing appears in the objectives of this bill and in the government-Democrat deal. Regrettably, there is no change proposed to this schedule.

Question resolved in the affirmative.