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Second speaker not required for Pension Bill.

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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

There have been a number of incorrect radio and television reports this morning that require clarification.

In regard to the Coalition’s Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill that passed in the Senate last night, it has been wrongly suggested that the Coalition made a procedural error in not having a ‘seconder’ for the Bill.

This is incorrect. A seconder is not required.

For clarification, Senator Coonan incorporated the second reading speech in an effort to be co-operative with the Government’s time pressures.

Senator Coonan chose to speak to sum up the debate and then spoke in the committee of the whole at considerable length when amendments were considered.

A second speaker is not required and any media reports stating or insinuating that a second speaker is required when introducing a Bill into the Senate is completely false.

The Coalition is serious about the importance of this Bill that will provide a $30 per week boost to the single age pension, and calls on the Government to ensure it is debated in the House of Representatives as a priority.