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Wednesday, 29 November 2006
Page: 32


Senator MARSHALL (11:44 AM) —I rise under standing order 191 to make an explanation. In his closing contribution, Senator Abetz just referred to a contribution I made in the second reading debate and sought to misrepresent what I had said. Clearly, the fair pay minimum standard, which is of course the lowest pay standard under Work Choices, only applies to employees who are covered by the Work Choices legislation. He tried to misrepresent what I said in my speech in the second reading debate which is that, in terms of the independent contractors legislation, minimum pay does not apply. In fact, under the independent contractors legislation, if you are deemed to be a contractor—


Senator Abetz —That is clearly not a point of order. I think he has learnt from Senator Brown to how to try to use air time. Could I simply suggest to you, Mr Acting Deputy President, that we get on with the vote.


Senator MARSHALL —I certainly was not raising a point of order; I rose under standing order 191, and that is an appropriate course of action.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Barnett)—Senator Marshall and Senator Abetz, I have again perused standing order 191 and want to draw Senator Marshall’s attention to the importance of focusing on the facts of the misquote or the misunderstanding. I again draw your attention to that and ask you to confine your remarks, as required by standing order 191.


Senator MARSHALL —Thank you. And, indeed, I was. I was clarifying the misunderstanding that Minister Abetz must have about the application of the fair pay minimum standard, in terms of the minimum wage. Clearly, under the Independent Contractors Bill 2006, the minimum wage set by Work Choices does not apply to independent contractors. Independent contractors can and will be paid less than the minimum wage under this legislation.


Senator Abetz —Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. Clearly, the honourable senator is seeking to debate the issues. If he claims that he has been misrepresented, he needs to say exactly what he said. I would have thought that the Hansard will clearly indicate for the record what each of us have said.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Minister, I take the point of order.


Senator Wong —Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise with regard to the minister’s point of order. As I understand Senator Marshall’s contribution, it was the minister’s choice to misrepresent something that Senator Marshall indicated in his speech in the second reading debate. I would have thought that Senator Marshall is entitled to indicate what was actually said and respond to the minister’s misrepresentation of those facts.


Senator Kemp —Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. I have been listening to the debate very carefully. Senator Abetz is absolutely correct that Senator Marshall has to specify exactly where he believes he was misrepresented and then put his version. That is how he should be corrected. He is not doing that; he is debating the point.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Kemp, I am about to rule on the point of order. I will rule accordingly. Senator Marshall, you must confine your remarks to areas where you believe you have been misrepresented, make those points clear and conclude your remarks accordingly.


Senator MARSHALL —Thank you. Of course, the standing order that I rise to speak to is about being misquoted or misunderstood. I have in fact made that point and have finished my contribution.

Question put:

That the amendment (Senator Murray’s) be agreed to.