Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

1:14 am

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I am correcting some of your inaccurate assertions. To be frank, it was getting a bit boring sitting here just tweeting along, and I thought I wanted to have a bit of a run in the paddock. In particular, given all of the misleading information that Senators Wong and Conroy have put into the public domain, I thought it was incumbent upon me to ensure that those who are still listening on Radio National did not get the false impression—although they are actually—

Senator Jacinta Collins interjecting—

You are so two-hours-ago, Senator Collins. They stopped and shifted over to the BBC, but Twitter informs me that they are back on, because, apparently, they decided that our debate here tonight is really interesting. It is great to see that the host of Insiders and Talking Pictures is here with us tonight, and I hope we are all going to get a mention on Sunday when the events of tonight are reported on the weekend.

To get back to the matters at hand, we do have an amendment before the chair. It is the first of nine government amendments and it seeks to ensure that people voting below the line are given guidance to vote below the line. You number 12 boxes 1 to 12 in your order of preference. The nine amendments that the government will be moving, the first of which is currently before the chair, will introduce a form of optional preferential voting below the line to complement our initial proposal of optional preferential voting above the line, and we commend the government's amendment to the Senate.

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