Senate debates

Wednesday, 28 September 2022


Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Lifting the Income Limit for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) Bill 2022; In Committee

6:42 pm

Photo of Janet RiceJanet Rice (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I just want to call out what is going on here. We have a bill to increase the ability of pensioners to access support, which we support, which Labor supports, which the opposition supports. We have amendments from the opposition, which, as I said in my second reading contribution, we as Greens feel are good amendments that basically allow pensioners to earn more, which are connected to this bill because they are improving the ability of pensioners to deal with the cost of living. We feel that those amendments are good amendments.

These amendments are similar to but different from measures that the government have moved. So basically, there is a fight going on between the government and the Liberal Party as to who gets the credit for these amendments that will allow pensioners to earn more. We feel that these are good amendments and we cannot vote against them. But clearly, the government do not want the Libs to get the credit for these amendments which would allow pensioners to earn more. So what is going on? The Labor party are filibustering. The Labor Party are trying to delay this bill being passed through the Senate so that it is not a Liberal amendments that are successful in giving pensioners the ability to earn more.

I want to put politics aside. We need to be getting measures through this parliament that will enable pensioners to deal with the cost of living and here is a way of doing it. The Greens want to support these amendments and we want to support them going through this parliament tonight. We do not want to continue on this ridiculous waste of time, just because the Labor Party are not happy with the Liberal Party getting the credit for something that we all agree on. It is just crazy.


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