Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Consideration of Legislation
At the request of Senator Ellison, I move:
- That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings:
Aged Care Amendment (Security and Protection) Bill 2007
Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2006-2007 and Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2006-2007
Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Additional Screening Measures) Bill 2007
Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment (Debt Agreements) Bill 2007 and Bankruptcy (Estate Charges) Amendment Bill 2007
Corporations Amendment (Takeovers) Bill 2007
Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2007
Health Insurance Amendment (Provider Number Review) Bill 2007
Migration Legislation Amendment (Information and Other Measures) Bill 2007
Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greater Sunrise) Bill 2007 and Customs Tariff Amendment (Greater Sunrise) Bill 2007
Schools Assistance (Learning Together—Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Amendment Bill 2007
Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Bill 2007
The long list of bills that the government has put forward for exemption from the cut-off is not warranted. The argument fails. The role of the Senate, as you know, Mr President, is to allow adequate time for public input to important bills, such as those listed. Again this shows the arrogance of this government in wanting to truncate the scrutiny that the Senate and, through it, the public can bring to such legislation. The Greens do not support this motion.
That is exactly the same wording that we received from Senator Bob Brown yesterday, when he was complaining about this arrogant government providing extra time for the Senate to consider legislation. It is just the same old mantra, irrespective of the motion or the issue. Today I have moved that certain bills be exempted under the provisions of standing order 111, because they are vital bills. For example, the Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2007 has been drafted to formalise the exceptional circumstance relief payments available to farm-dependent small business operators being affected by the prolonged drought being experienced across Australia. Clearly, Senator Brown and the Australian Greens do not want that legislation to be debated and passed early to assist the drought-stricken farmers of this country.
We also have the Schools Assistance (Learning Together—Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Amendment Bill 2006. This bill bolsters the Australian government funding commitment to education, so he would seek to delay a funding commitment to education in this country. We have the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Additional Screening Measures) Bill 2007, which provides for extra search capacity as an additional security measure. Once again, the Australian Greens would seek to stand in the way of that. I have outlined a few examples of why these bills require urgent consideration by the Senate. I hope that honourable senators see the sense in dealing with these bills on the basis that the government proposes.
Question agreed to.