Senate debates

Thursday, 8 October 2020


Days and Hours of Meeting

12:15 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

My contribution to the discussion on this motion will be very brief. This is quite a lengthy motion. It's clearly been prepared in advance, but not much notice was given. I just point that that is a little bit disrespectful. In relation to the gag motion, I'll quote a tweet from Rebekha Sharkie from the other place on 3 September 2020. She said:

Earlier this week Govt gagged debate on the Higher Ed Bill which meant few of us got to speak. … This is not democracy.

I ask Centre Alliance to reflect on that when they vote in relation to this gag motion on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.

I point out that, having formerly been a member of the Centre Alliance party, the rules in relation to gagging of debates were basically that they would never gag a second reading and they would only gag the committee stage in circumstances where there was obvious filibustering. What this gag will mean is that genuine questions that were to be asked will not be asked. We will not be able to get clarification on elements of the bill where there is uncertainty, and that may also affect later interpretations in any proceedings. It's an awful thing to do. We should not be gagging debate on the higher education bill.


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