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Tuesday, 12 September 2006
Page: 2


Senator JOYCE (12:36 PM) —I understand completely the intent of Senator Fielding’s amendments and, like Senator Murray, my concern is that we have already passed the piece of legislation that deals with these amendments. For whatever reason, they have gone down to the lower house and been sat on, but we will have a problem because we will have two pieces of legislation contradicting each another in the passage of the Senate’s Trade Practices Amendment Bill (No. 1). However, that does not detract for one moment from the intent of what Senator Fielding is endeavouring to do, and I agree absolutely with his sentiment.

On looking at it further, my concern is that it means one or the other would stand and, in support of this, would draw into question which one we wanted it to be. My obvious choice is that the Trade Practices Amendment Bill (No. 1), as amended, should be the one that gets passage, because it deals with everybody—all facets of small business and not one in particular. The right of protection that small businesses should have and the right to grow should be manifest throughout all sections of the economy and not designated to one section of the economy in particular. I agree with the intent of this and that it should be there. I agree that it should be in place, but this gives us an overlap and would cause a legislative issue that people could knock edges off in a debate.