Senate debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020


Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020, Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020; In Committee

10:39 am

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

Thank you for giving me notice of the fact that you are not going to agree with what we agreed previously at the table. And I just say, yet again, here is a minister, on a bill we agreed with—

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Senator Wong, you need to seek leave.

I seek leave to make further statements.

Leave granted.

We have written to this minister. We have invited them to negotiate on amendments. There has been silence as a result. She has not had the outcome in the chamber that she wanted—all for want of picking up the phone and actually having a discussion. Now we have, frankly, an absurd proposition that a bill which has been amended to include an annual report—an uncontroversial amendment—that would require that report to go to a committee that the government controls, she's now going to oppose. You want a fight when you don't need to have one. There's an annual report that we can send to a references committee. It is a very responsible and sensible amendment to send to a committee the government controls.


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