Senate debates

Monday, 19 June 2023


Consideration of Legislation

11:27 am

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care) Share this | Hansard source

care back into aged care, Madam Chair. But no: it was a great headline, but there was no reality in terms of how you were going to deliver it. Another one was pharmacy and 60-day dispensing. It sounds like a great idea—cheaper and easier access to medicines—but you forgot to actually do your homework and consult.

What we have here is a classic example of the implications and the result of legislation that has not been consulted on and legislation which has had no consideration of secondary effects. It's legislation, in this instance, that has completely disregarded normal, reasonable budget practices. And guess what has happened? You've lost control of it, because there are those in this place—and I thank the Greens for their sensible consideration of this—that actually take those three things very, very seriously. You must consult, you must understand secondary consequences and you should follow normal budget processes. Stuffing something off the balance sheet just to give yourself a budget surplus is completely irresponsible, and that's why we will be supporting this suspension motion today.

We saw on the weekend that instead of coming and actually negotiating so that you could come up with something that was palatable to this place to enable it to go through and to enable that money to flow in whatever mechanism you were able to negotiate, we saw the Prime Minister just throwing a couple of billion dollars out there. Once again, this is a classic example of where you haven't done your homework and don't have a process in place. It hasn't been a considered reform and it hasn't been a consulted reform. Maybe you'd find that things go through this place a little bit better if you actually do your homework, do your preparation and make sure that everything is in place before you come in here and demand that the representatives of the Australian Senate vote for something. If you're only going to throw headlines out with your legislation; if you aren't going to put the detail in there or provide advice in terms of subordinate legislation; if you aren't going to follow appropriate and proper processes; and if you aren't going to bring the Senate along with you then you'll continue to see that the sensible people in this place will actually hold you to account and make you go through the necessary processes so that we can end up with a situation where the will of this Senate, which reflects the will of the Australian people, is delivered in your legislation. Stop being lazy and actually do your job.


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