Senate debates

Thursday, 1 December 2016


Coal Industry

4:26 pm

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

by leave—Mr President, can I indicate my gratitude to you and the chamber for your forbearance on the previous occasion as I sought to get some instructions. Can I indicate this on behalf of the opposition: I understand that the amendment has not been provided. I appreciate Senator Waters would say it has been circulated in the chamber, but it certainly was not brought to the attention of the relevant shadow ministers. In those circumstances we are not in a position to support it, notwithstanding the fact that Labor has indicated our support for a just transition in the coal industry. Obviously these are matters of some complexity and we would, in ordinary circumstances, ensure that the spokespeople on behalf of the Labor Party had the opportunity to consider this before the Labor Party voted.

I did want to put that on the record to indicate why we are not in a position as yet to support the amendment. It may well be that we will get voting instructions accordingly. I would ask that senators consider in those circumstances whether it is entirely necessary for such a motion to be voted on this side of Christmas and whether it could simply be deferred until the next sitting day.


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