Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007; Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007; Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007; Appropriation (Northern Territory National Emergency Response) Bill (No. 1) 2007-2008; Appropriation (Northern Territory National Emergency Response) Bill (No. 2) 2007-2008

In Committee

9:22 pm

Photo of Andrew BartlettAndrew Bartlett (Queensland, Australian Democrats) Share this | Hansard source

The Democrats oppose schedule 4 in the following terms:

(3)    Schedule 4, page 38 (line 2) to page 151 (line 18), TO BE OPPOSED.

I feel that we have already debated this issue ad nauseam but it is nice to finally have it before us. The Democrats oppose schedule 4. It is our view that we should not be removing the permit system.

I appreciate all the arguments that have been put forward, both for and against, but, as I said before, there has been no evidence put forward to actually suggest that it is necessary. I do not believe such a major change should be made without evidence, particularly given that it is a proposal that has, I think undeniably, caused a lot of concern amongst many Aboriginal people in the Territory. It is seen with suspicion and, unless you have a very good reason, I do not see why you would do something that is going to be viewed with suspicion. I have heard no good reason to do that—certainly not one that is backed up with any evidence—so I oppose schedule 4.

Question put:

That schedule 4 stand as printed.

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