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Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Page: 2096

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (12:32): Firstly, we would like to acknowledge that the government have managed to avoid all the school holidays with its sitting timetable for next year. We acknowledge the government's approach there. For the last number of years, I have been on my feet saying, 'What about school holidays?' We are, however, concerned that we are not sitting long enough in this place. We are very concerned that there are a lot of significant issues that I am sure are on the government's agenda; there are certainly a lot on our agenda that we would like to be pursuing through the parliament. So we are concerned that there are not enough weeks on the timetable for us to complete that business. We are also concerned that the government may decide next year to seek additional sitting days that are not on the agenda because they find themselves in the position where they have not scheduled enough sitting days for this place to complete its business properly, or that they will seek to guillotine bills through because they do not have enough time to prosecute their arguments because they have not scheduled enough days. While I do acknowledge that we have avoided the school holidays, we think that there should have been more time scheduled for this place to sit longer to deal with the legislative matters that no doubt the government will be bringing on but also that we wish to prosecute through this place.