Senate debates

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Business

Consideration of Legislation

9:38 am

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

The government will be opposing this suspension. The matters that Senator Patrick has raised in his contribution are appropriately dealt with in the context of the debate on legislation, which is now delayed because of the steps that he has taken. This is government business time. This is a time for the government to bring on legislation. This is very important legislation. Let's remind ourselves what this is about. This is about making sure that the government of Australia has the capacity to appropriately manage risk in relation to Australians who have decided to fight as foreign terrorist fighters in overseas battle zones. The number one responsibility of the Australian government here is to keep the Australian community safe.

I completely respect that as part of the consideration of this legislation there were matters that Senator Patrick raised and that the shadow Attorney-General, Mr Dreyfus, sought to pursue in the House of Representatives. Then, after the House of Representatives decided to reject his views and reject the amendments he put forward, the Labor Party voted in favour of the bill as a whole. All of these matters that Senator Patrick just raised will be appropriately dealt with in the course of the debate on the legislation. To seek to essentially procedurally derail the proper consideration of the government's agenda is not the appropriate way forward.

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