Senate debates

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008

In Committee

5:45 pm

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I appreciate the commitment by the government that they will not introduce any further legislation that seeks an exemption from the RDA, but that has not stopped them making use of exemptions from the RDA, as is evidenced by the extension of income quarantining, which is clearly contrary to the RDA. It has not stopped them continuing to take control of townships. So while they may be trying to appear squeaky clean by not making any further laws that seek to exempt them from the RDA, they are already making use of exemptions to the RDA.

They could either move their legislation right now, or as soon as possible, or they could support these amendments right now—amendments that will deal with it straightaway. They will not do that because it is very convenient for them to keep the exemption to the RDA in place while they progress measures that would not meet the requirements of the RDA. Australia needs to be very clear about this: they are keeping the exemptions in place while they use those exemptions to push their agenda.

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