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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 2603

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (18:27): Senator Pratt is right: as I articulated in my contribution in this morning's second reading debate, the Greens likewise have significant concerns around part 2. We have concerns around quite a bit of the legislation as it applies to child support, but in this instance we're particularly concerned to make sure that the payees—the majority of payees are, as I articulated this morning, single mothers—are not adversely affected.

We want to see more safeguards put around part 2 in particular to protect people who will be potentially adversely affected by these broader amendments. We think the best way to do it is to in fact take this particular part out. As I also indicated earlier, we understand into the future there will be more amendments coming to this legislation. The government has the opportunity to either deal with it in that piece of legislation or in fact do it separately, but we think we need time to adequately consider amendments that can have significant ramifications—particularly for the payees who are struggling on low incomes and who could become significantly financially vulnerable if a mistake is made here or if we don't get this right.

We support the broader approach of taking out part 2, but if that is unsuccessful we will then obviously enter into the discussion around the amendments that would subsequently be moved. However, given the nature of the time it has taken—these amendments have had to be developed very quickly—we would prefer taking part 2 out so that we can give the amendments serious consideration.