Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

7:47 pm

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Cabinet Secretary) Share this | Hansard source

I will take this moment briefly to respond to part of what Senator Macdonald said before I go back to the more significant issues that we were addressing. I took advantage, I must admit—I should inform those watching the Senate—of a moment to address some matters outside of the chamber. As I noted, Senator Cormann had done the same. Observers of this process might like to understand that there are not regular breaks, meal breaks and the like so we do the best that we can under the circumstances. It was certainly not an indication, as Senator Fifield suggested, that I had run out of material. Oh no, there is an enormous amount of material that needs to be addressed.

Senator Smith interjecting—

Senator Cormann talks about the quality. Senator Cormann, you took a brief break. I was hoping that you took that opportunity to reflect that it was fairly early in the stage that you were doing exactly what you claim that you did not do, which was starting to interject and starting to get a bit narky. I was a bit concerned. It is now 10 to eight in what is going to be a fairly lengthy process. Maybe after a bit of oxygen and maybe some sustenance or a bathroom break you might return to what you hoped to be, which was listening and responding. This is where I think it is timely now to at least do a brief rehash to what you have not responded to.

When I had countless people—

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

Now we have Senator Macdonald interjecting. Earlier than that, we had Senator Fifield. I do not know what they are doing out there in the party room, whether they are having a few drinks or whatever it is but coming in here with perpetual interjections is not going to help the process.

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

I would appreciate if you would discourage Senator Macdonald from his perpetual interjections. Generally, as he indicated, we do get along relatively well—not always in a committee since. Senator Macdonald was not here when we were addressing the return to order. When I was going through what limited material Minister Cormann had provided, I had some specific questions that he failed to respond to. Those questions were the areas that I highlighted.

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

Chair, I cannot even hear myself.


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