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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9839

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (12:27): My initial advice from the whip is that, on the basis of some confusion during the division about which side of the chamber the Nick Xenophon Team would be voting on, one of our senators was sent out when he shouldn't have been sent out, and he wasn't able to come back into the chamber on time. That was Senator Scullion. The whip is just confirming that that is what has happened.

The CHAIR: Just for clarity, I take it you are referring to the question on the first part of that amendment?

Senator CORMANN: The amendment is an amendment as a whole; it was just taken in two parts: one was that the bill stand as printed, to which we voted yes, and the other, which is consequential and related, was the one on which the government voted no. But, even though we had an indication that the Nick Xenophon Team would be supporting the government's position against the amendments, on the basis that for a period it looked as though the Nick Xenophon Team was seated on the other side—eventually they moved over—in informal communications that happened across the chamber, I am advised by our duty whip that somebody was sent out from our side who should not have been sent out, and he wasn't able to get back into the chamber on time.