Thursday, 17 June 2010
Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010; Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010
I suppose the general answer on the wording used by ministers is that we are not a scripted government. Ministers choose their own words when responding to issues in the Senate, so I would not place too much emphasis on the particular words chosen by the ministers in the debate. I certainly would not place any on mine, in the sense that they were not meant to carry legal or technical connotations; they were only used to try and explain the purpose of the amendment. I am advised, though, that in the drafting of the amendment we do not have any concerns that the impact of the use of those words will be any different. Our advice is that the amendment achieves what we want it to.
I will just point out that the amendment was drafted in response to concerns raised in the Senate committee process, which is obviously the appropriate process for teasing out any concerns. It serves the Senate and the parliament well. I am advised that we do not have any concerns about how the wording is used in various sections such as the heading and content of the amendment. If you have any particular concerns or you think either of the terms used have some other meaning then I am happy to respond to that. If there is something that you think does not work then we are happy to try to address it.