Senate debates

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005

Consideration of House of Representatives Message

1:05 pm

Photo of Andrew MurrayAndrew Murray (WA, Australian Democrats) Share this | Hansard source

I think a lot of congratulations are due, firstly to the chamber for shaming the good senator into going back to the government and saying, ‘By the way, the arrangement I announced yesterday that I am supporting this legislation needs some adjustment because of the pressure that I am under.’ Congratulations, Senator Joyce, because, without your amendment and the embarrassment you have produced, it would not have happened. Congratulations to the government because it already had the vote in the hand, yet it has given an additional gift. I think that is really generous on its part. All told, the slight improvement that we have before us—the face-saver or fig leaf or however you want to describe it—is a result of Senate pressure on the senator to produce something in return for his vote, and I am pleased about it.

The one thing I want to emphasise again and again is that last year this chamber passed the legislation dealing with collective bargaining for small business. Schedule 1 has nothing to do with small business. All the support that the minister has read out from all those small business people is not wholehearted support for schedule 1. It is support for the bill; I accept that. But the main interest is in collective bargaining for small business, which this Senate unanimously—every single senator—passed over a year ago. That is all I can say on that subject.


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