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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7602


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (12:36): For the benefit of the taxpayers, we will not be going to Ceduna by helicopter from Adelaide. I am grateful for that, and I think that it is going to be very important. I am sure that it will be a feisty, robust meeting. It is important in a democracy for those concerns to be raised. I will raise some of the concerns that were put to me in the community gathering that I went to at the Ceduna community hotel.

There is one issue that I happened to speak to Assistant Minister Tudge about just a few moments ago, and I want to get this on the record. It is an issue that I have discussed with my colleagues Senator Moore and Senator Siewert. It relates to the regulations for the trial. The concern that I have had is that, at the moment, in terms of subordinate legislation, there are 15 sitting days to disallow a regulation, so, if a problem is apparent, if there is a serious problem with the trial—and I hope that will not be the case; I want to make that clear—we have only got 15 sitting days to deal with that. I was going to move an amendment to extend that 15 days to 30 days, but that would involve some technical difficulties. I would be grateful if the government could indicate and give a firm undertaking that any regulations would be established for a period of six months only, with the intent that there be a further period of six months, effectively giving the Senate an opportunity to consider a disallowance of those regulations on two occasions, with 15 sitting days each time. I think that would give us a greater level of scrutiny, in a sense, and scrutiny with teeth, in respect of this. Again, I make it clear that I want this to work, as does the government, but I think it is important that we have that additional level of safety and scrutiny for the communities involved.