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Tuesday, 7 December 2004
Page: 119

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Western Australia—Minister for the Environment and Heritage) (9.01 p.m.)—I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

Question agreed to.

Senator Nettle —Mr Acting Deputy President, I ask that opposition to the bill by the Australian Greens and the Australian Democrats be recorded. An agreement was made with the whips tonight that I could—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Lightfoot)—Is leave granted?

Senator Nettle —I do not think I need leave.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —You may not think you need leave, Senator Nettle, but I beg to differ.

Senator Ian Campbell —Mr Acting Deputy President, on a point of order: I am very happy to allow Senator Nettle to put her position—and I am sure Senator Brown can do so—but I think that under the standing order that Senator Nettle is using a senator is allowed to stand in their place and ask that their vote be recorded. I do not think that gives a senator the liberty to ask that another senator's or another entire political party's votes be recorded.

Senator George Campbell —On the same point of order, Mr Acting Deputy President: as I understand the position, the request from the Australian Greens is to indicate to the chamber the view that the Australian Democrats, if they were here, would have voted against the bill. The fact is that they are not here; they are outside the building, having their Christmas party. If they were serious about the bill they would be in this chamber recording their vote themselves. You cannot vote in absentia on a vote in the chamber. They can indicate how they might have voted if they had been here, but that is not recorded as a vote against the bill.

Senator Brown —I ask that my vote against the bill be recorded, and I think Senator Nettle has made it quite clear what the Democrats think.

Bill read a third time.