Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

8:03 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I will take the interjection from Senator Macdonald. He says that he said three months. I did not understand that to mean that it would be three months before an education campaign could start. If that is the government's position, maybe they should explain that. Why does one even be told about this for three months? That cannot possibly be the government's position. But you never know with Senator Macdonald. Maybe that is what he really believes.

But I do want to make a point about why such a campaign is so important and why I and many senators in this place are deeply concerned about voter understanding of the changes that are being rammed through in this dirty deal the government has done with the Australian Greens—a dirty and unprincipled deal that is all about improving the position of the parties to deal but ensuring that they pull up the drawbridge to any of those who might come after them. These are the largest changes to the electoral system for the Senate in three decades, and one would have thought that, rather than trying to rush this through in time for a double dissolution, the government might have actually—


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