Senate debates

Tuesday, 22 June 2021


Days and Hours of Meeting

3:37 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I will just make a few comments on this. The opposition will be supporting this motion and we do so for a number of reasons. We agree with the comments that have been made about the government's inability to manage their program but we also agree there are a number of bills, not just these listed but probably another 13 or so that the government have on the draft program, that are on some level time critical. Even if we don't agree with them, there are a number of bills that have to be dealt with by the end of this financial year.

Labor have tried to bring a reasonable approach to this. We don't think it's reasonable to sit all night on Thursday, as has happened in the past; we don't think that is fair. We have had a long sitting fortnight. We already had extended hours last week to ram through the super bills. We did have a view that we should try and manage some of those time-critical bills in a more reasonable way. There are a number of hours tonight. We've already started well into fuel security. It can be managed so that people's representations, contributions and amendments can be put within the time frame allowed, if we all accept that. We on this side certainly do. We're not wanting to lengthen debate on any bills any so that anyone can't speak on any other bill. The debates can be managed tonight. My understanding is there are 13 or so bills the government would like passed this week in addition to these. Our request to the government was that there is not another late-night sitting of the Senate, that the program is managed in a reasonable way. But part of doing that requires us to pass some legislation at some point this sitting fortnight. These bills, we agree with the government, can be dealt with tonight in the time allowed.

But we would also request the government get in place a better way of managing their program so that we are not constantly put in the position of having to consider hours motions for senators in this place and that we can have debates as long as they need to be on pieces of important legislation.


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