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Monday, 19 March 2018
Page: 1519

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (20:49): There clearly was a level of confusion, including a call by the chair that this was actually a vote that was carried in favour of the government. So I think that the best course of action is to clarify the true will of the Senate. In relation to the pairing arrangement, Senator Hanson was in the chamber and, as the leader of the One Nation party in the Senate, was able to give an indication of the intentions of Senators Burston and Georgiou and how they—

Honourable senators interjecting

Senator CORMANN: Pairing arrangements work in all directions in this chamber.

Senator Jacinta Collins: You can't do that on the floor, Mathias, and you know that.

Senator CORMANN: Let me tell you: over the 11 years that I've been here there has been a precedent for this happening in all directions, and there was a clear indication from the leader of the One Nation party, Senator Hanson, as to the intention. In any event, I think it is very clear that the vote as it was recorded does not reflect the will of the chamber and it ought to be addressed, consistent with the usual conventions.