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Monday, 19 March 2018
Page: 1518

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaActing Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (20:48): There's one important issue that needs to be addressed in this consideration, given we are relying—

Senator Abetz: Are you seeking leave or what?

Senator Wong: Come on! You're seeking a recommittal and you're going to jack up about—

Senator Kim Carr: And he's not in his seat.

Senator JACINTA COLLINS: Yes, Senator Abetz, you might like to return to your seat if you want to interject in that fashion.

The CHAIR: Through the chair, thank you.

Senator JACINTA COLLINS: If we are going to rely on convention in relation to these issues, there is one issue that should also be addressed at this time, and that is the concern that senators sought to pair on the floor of the chamber to address the problems associated with two senators not being present for this vote. I think the difficulty with the pairing conventions needs to be highlighted as well. You cannot seek a pair on the floor by virtue of a senator being absent through misadventure. We've heard some explanations. I'm not sure the misadventures on this occasion equate anywhere near the misadventures that I've heard about in my 20 years in this place, but we need to address the issue that pairing is not an option to deal with matters of this type.