Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Consideration of Legislation
If I misheard Senator Abetz, I invite him to tell me what the real interjection was. If you make an interjection like that in debates, you will get a response. So, perhaps you would like to tell the crossbench what your real interjection was. I believe I heard what I said. If I'm not right, well, fair enough. But let's go back to the important issue here. This revision that the government is using is about getting senators to agree to a limitation of debate on bills. Don't agree to that sort of thing easily. You need to understand that there has been consultation, that there is some urgency and that there is a justification to essentially pass away your powers to ensure that matters are addressed properly. These are the issues that the government has not addressed. They criticise Labor when we are in government—call us hypocrites—but the fact is that in those stages we achieved agreement to manage the Senate program, because senators, including the crossbenchers, were frustrated with how this government conducted itself in opposition.
This is not the case here. The case here is that during question time the government alerted us, with no notice, that they were going to move this motion, and they are now suggesting that we should give it precedence. We should not give it precedence, because there is no urgency. Since there is no urgency, I now move the following amendment to the motion:
That the words 'without amendment or debate' be deleted from paragraph (c).
I want all senators to be aware that they should not easily allow the government to slip into an amendment that they should relinquish their power to amend and debate any matter. To do that is essentially passing on your responsibilities as a senator, without due consideration. The other element at stake here is the lack of consultation—