Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023


Housing Australia Future Fund Bill 2023, National Housing Supply and Affordability Council Bill 2023, Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Measures No. 1) Bill 2023; Second Reading

12:52 pm

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

I stand today to make a contribution in relation to the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill, the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council Bill and Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Measures) No. 1 Bill 2023. At the outset I make it very clear to this chamber that the opposition will be opposing the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill 2023. However, we do intend to support the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council Bill 2023.

The most relevant thing today in the contribution that I'll make on behalf of the opposition is that we will not be supporting the establishment of the Housing Australia Future Fund. It's probably one of the most egregious examples of financial engineering that we've seen from this or any government, for that matter. Concerningly, this is starting to become a bit of a hallmark of this government, trying to facilitate significant government spending in off-budget items through funds like this.

It's clear, like most of their policies so far, that the genesis of the Housing Australia Future Fund has been driven more by the potential headlines it could generate than by achieving the significant and sensible outcomes in housing that they purport to be trying to deliver by this set of legislation. So, despite Labor's promise that they will invest $10 billion in housing, we know that every time someone from the government says that it is simply not true. The commitment is about as tangible as their aspirational targets, and we know that Australians cannot live in aspirational targets.

We know that the Albanese Labor government is not proposing in this bill to invest $10 billion in housing. They are not intending to do that at all. What they are doing is setting up a fund of fully borrowed money, $10 billion worth of Commonwealth borrowings, with the hope that the fund will produce sufficient returns to be able to pass those returns on to housing projects. But we know that, with the 10-year government bond rate at the moment approaching four per cent and rising, this $10 billion of borrowings will cost the Commonwealth approximately $400 million every year in interest. That's $400 million every single year. And it's very relevant to the fact that this bill is before the House this week, because we know right now that Australians are doing it really tough due to serious constraints due to the rising cost-of-living pressures that are being overseen by this government.

Make no mistake: this inflation we are seeing is domestic inflation. It started here in Canberra and can't be blamed elsewhere. But the pressures that this inflation is inflicting are particularly felt by households trying to pay the mortgage as interest rates continue to rise. Australians will be looking very closely at tonight's budget to see how it will help them with their cost-of-living crisis that is putting serious pressure on their budgets. We know that the increased borrowing contained in this legislation will only add to the inflationary impact and pressures that are on our economy at the moment, which will inevitably lead to ever-higher interest rates.

We've seen a very clear message to the government from the Reserve Bank. It is saying to this government that it needs to start doing some of the heavy fiscal lifting to reduce inflation instead of leaving it entirely to the Reserve Bank; otherwise, the job will continue to be left to monetary policy, and, in a minute, monetary policy will run out. We've already seen eight rises under this government. So what is the Albanese government's answer to the pleas from the Reserve Bank to borrow less and to spend less? It's to set up a fund with $10 billion worth of borrowings that we know will likely have $400 million worth of interest costs every year.

There are a number of reasons why the opposition will not be supporting this bill. First and foremost, anything that will increase inflation and, therefore, lead to higher mortgage rates cannot, in good conscience, be supported in this place. Second, there is absolutely no certainty that this fund will result in any funding of any housing projects. The disbursements from the fund will be wholly reliant on the financial performance of the fund's investments in equities and other financial products, and that is a very big 'if'—you don't need to go too far back into history to realise what a big if it really is. For example, if this fund had been established last financial year, the Commonwealth would have lost approximately $370 million in addition to the $400 million in interest. That is a total loss of $770 million. It would mean that not even one dollar would be available for social and affordable housing projects.

This is not a source of stable, recurrent funding for a government program. Instead, it is an absolutely blatant attempt to try to keep a housing measure from impacting Jim Chalmers' budget bottom line. The International Monetary Fund has already clearly warned the government about the proliferation of these sorts of funds. But you don't need to be an economist from the IMF to be concerned about what this government is trying to do here. It is clear that there is every likelihood that, at the end of this term of government, we could find that we have not delivered a single house as promised, at great cost to the budget's bottom line and to Australian households. The bill also lacks any crucial detail. This is something that has become a bit of a hallmark of this government—to just put in the legislation and worry about the detail later.

The government has refused to release the investment mandate and is restricting scrutiny of the key information on the fund's capacity to deliver on its very own commitments by the government. We know that when the government doesn't want us to see something, there is usually a pretty compelling reason why not. This legislation is essentially a shell with all the key aspects of the operations of the fund that are likely to be contained in this investment mandate, which they still haven't made public. That should make every observer of this particular passage of this legislation very, very nervous about this fund.

The investment mandate needs to go through public consultation because the sector is very nervous about the way in which the fund is structured. Indeed, the sector has already outlined a number of failures in this bill. There is a failure to define key terms. What is the definition of 'social housing'? What is the definition of 'affordable housing'? What is the definition of 'acute housing'? These are terms that will dictate what this fund will spend potential future returns on—if there are any returns. Stakeholders have also criticised the limit on annual drawdowns. Again, this highlights the lack of funding certainty with no mechanism and performance criteria against which to assess the effectiveness of the grants. Furthermore, the bill prescribes a five-year review time frame, which is completely inadequate given the uncertainty around the funding model.

This fund is in absolute contrast to the approach of the former government, and we believe we have a very strong record, which is there for all to see, on supporting homeownership and funding social and affordable housing. Firstly, we established the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation—soon to be renamed Housing Australia—which was a landmark achievement. In establishing this landmark body, the coalition put community housing providers at the centre of what we did. Since its creation, NHFIC has delivered $2.9 billion in low-cost loans to community housing providers to support 15,000 social and affordable dwellings, saving $470 million in interest payments to be reinvested in more affordable housing. It also unlocked 6,900 social, affordable and market dwellings, through the coalition's $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility, to make housing supply more responsive to demand.

Over our last three years in government, the coalition's housing policies also supported more than 300,000 Australians with the purchase of their home. In particular, under the coalition, first home buyers reached their highest level for nearly 15 years. We assisted more than 60,000 people into a home, through our Home Guarantee Scheme, which helped homebuyers get into the market by bringing down the deposit hurdle from 20 per cent to five per cent. Most recently, there was the Family Home Guarantee, which required a deposit of only two per cent for single parents, 85 per cent of which were single mothers. We also delivered 137,000 HomeBuilder projects. Our First Home Super Saver Scheme helped more than 25,000 people fast-track their savings and deposits through concessions within their superannuation.

In summary, we've got a government whose housing policies are in tatters, and first home buyers have dropped month on month under this government, with no action in response. Now they're trying to bring on the Housing Australia Future Fund legislation, which will add to the inflationary pressures already being felt by households around Australia and bring pressure onto the economy, with absolutely no certainty of any returns being generated and being able to be applied to housing. Our message is very clear to the government: a housing fund that will increase inflationary pressure and result in higher interest rates, that has no guarantee of return or the delivery of any housing projects, that's going to cost $400 million a year in interest rates and that's going to move community housing providers to the sidelines is not the way to deliver the positive change that so many Australians are needing right now. We will not be supporting the establishment of this fund.

1:02 pm

Photo of Mehreen FaruqiMehreen Faruqi (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak to Labor's housing package. Before getting into the details of Labor's policy, I want to say that housing is totally cooked in this country. The scale of the housing crisis has never been more acute, yet all Labor can offer is an extremely weak plan that will do so little, if anything at all. New homelessness figures released by the ABS show that the number of people without a home rose by 5.2 per cent over the last five years. Of those without a home, 56 per cent are women and children. Women make up the vast majority of the newly homeless. We hear over and over that rising rents and the higher and higher cost of living, combined with lower savings and superannuation, are pushing older women to the brink. Young people's dreams of owning a home have become nightmares. More than 20 per cent of those without a home are First Nations people, despite them making up just 3.8 per cent of the population. It is an absolute disgrace that so many First Nations people don't own a home on their own land. We have a shortage of 640,000 social and affordable homes.

Being a renter in Australia has never been more difficult, and there are record low vacancy rates and skyrocketing rents. There are 2.7 million people living in rental stress. Rental prices are a staggering 22 per cent higher than they were in 2020. Renters are predicted to pay $10 billion in rent increases alone, in 2023, at a time when real wages are falling. Virtually no region in Australia is affordable for aged-care workers, early childhood educators and carers, cleaners, nurses and many other frontline, essential workers. People are sleeping and living in cars, in caravans, in tents. They're being forced to couch surf, with rental vacancy rates at their lowest levels ever. Whether they are in regional Australia or live in a capital city, more and more people are struggling to pay rent and having to make the choice between rent and food, between medication and dental care. No-one should be in a situation like this.

With interest rates rising, the RBA predicts that 4.5 million households soon won't be earning enough to cover their mortgages and pay for essentials. The housing crisis, of course, is hitting those already marginalised the hardest. Less than one per cent of private rental properties in Australia are affordable for those earning the minimum wage, while people on Centrelink payments are barely able to afford rooms in shared houses, according to a recent Anglican report. More than 70 per cent of the people who come to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne in housing distress were unable to be placed in accommodation, with the broader housing crisis putting more pressure on temporary and emergency housing services. International students are being forced to pitch tents in the living rooms of houses, and students are lining up at food banks. Unstable and unaffordable housing is causing long-term mental health impacts and enormous stress, and it is harming people every single day.

The housing and rental crisis does have a human face, and I want to read out a few recent stories from people. Cheryl Rowe, a cleaner in Western Australia, has been forced to live in a camping trailer for the past few months, after her landlord sold her rental. As Cheryl says: 'It's hard every night after work coming home to a tent rather than a home. You're living out of your car. You're living out of supermarket bags. I work full time. I should be able to get a home.' But the hardest part of Cheryl's ordeal was checking her terminally ill husband into hospital after she realised that she couldn't care for him in a home and that a caravan park was her only option.

Cassie and her two young sons on the South Coast of New South Wales have been homeless since July, when she became unable to afford their rent. Since then, they have been bouncing between hotels and crisis accommodation, hoping various charities will foot their bills. As Cassie says: 'I just want my boys to grow up happy and healthy and know that they've got somewhere to sleep every night.' Bob, a 79-year-old pensioner in Sydney, was recently served a no-grounds eviction notice. He gets emotional when he thinks about the people he will have to compete against to secure a new place: 'How many people are going to take in a pensioner on very cheap rent? There's not going to be too many offers, I think.'

It is absolutely obscene that, in a wealthy country like Australia, people are struggling and suffering like Cheryl, Cassie and Bob. Shamefully, Labor's housing plan will do little if anything for people like Cheryl, Cassie and Bob, and there are many more people facing harrowing circumstances because of a housing system that sees millions being screwed over while banks and property developers make an absolute killing off the misery of others. We have a housing system where it's impossible to get into public housing because there is so little of it. But it's also impossible to get into a rental because rents are just so damn high.

We need big, bold, long-term action on housing in this country. We need a minimum of $5 billion invested in social and affordable housing every year, indexed to inflation. We need to invest directly in building hundreds of thousands of well-designed, accessible and sustainable public homes—enough to not just clear the waiting list but also provide affordable housing to the millions who are locked out of the housing market. We need to invest big in First Nations housing. We need to phase out perverse tax incentives that encourage and reward property hoarding, such as negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount.

We need to stop ignoring renters and treating them like second-class citizens. That's why the Greens are calling for an immediate freeze on rent increases for two years. Renters deserve an immediate relief. They are facing serious financial stress as a result of these soaring rents. We need a pathway towards national tenancy standards that deliver protection from 'no grounds' evictions. The government's plan to deal with the crisis, though, involves very few of these things, though we have forced the government to at least put rent freezes onto the national cabinet's agenda.

The boldly named but pathetically inadequate Housing Australia Future Fund legislation won't even touch the sides of the housing crisis in this country. And let's start by being clear about what this legislation does and does not do. It does not invest $10 billion in affordable and social housing, contrary to what Labor repeatedly tells you to think. However, it does invest $10 billion in the stock market via the housing fund. It's the returns, if there are any at all, that will be invested in affordable and social housing projects. Property developers in the private sector will be relied on to deliver these projects. It is completely speculative and a reckless way for a government to deal with something as essential and meaningful as housing, which is a core human right. There could be years where the fund doesn't make a single cent or even years where it loses money.

It is hard to know where rock bottom will lie with this neoliberal, market-obsessed Labor government, but I hope we would never leave school funding or hospital funding to a gamble on the stock market, so why on earth would we do it with housing? The big risks associated with the fund are not matched by the rewards—even if the fund were to make a big return, spending on housing is capped at $500 million per year with no indexation. There is no floor and spending with this plan—literally nothing could be invested in social and affordable housing in a given year under this plan. And that cap of $500 million is not even a drop in the ocean. The recent National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation review estimated that an investment of $14.7 billion per year is needed to meet the shortfall of social and affordable housing. This legislation aims to finance the construction of a mere 30,000 social and affordable homes over five years. The benefits of Labor's signature housing policy will be easily outstripped by the growth of a social and affordable homes shortage. Under Labor's plan, we will have a bigger shortage of social and affordable housing in five years time than we do now. That says it all, really. The problem will get worse under this plan.

There is a clear, better and more obvious way to solve the housing crisis, and the Greens are calling for the government to invest $5 billion directly in social and affordable housing. If the federal government invested $5 billion each year in partnership with the states, 110,000 public and affordable homes could be built in the next five years—that's four times the amount that Labor is touting. By retaining ownership of the homes, the government could earn money from rental returns over the next decade, and that could be reinvested in building more homes.

A number of witnesses to the inquiry into this legislation supported the Greens' view that the government's model of gambling away $10 billion in the Future Fund is deeply flawed. There should be direct investment into social and affordable housing. Doctor John Quiggin, Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland, said that the policy was risky and that capping housing funding at the amount generated by fund returns is 'not a good way to fund public expenditure of any kind and particularly not … social housing'. The Antipoverty Centre described the fund as 'intentionally designed to sound more significant that it is', and called for the provision of social and affordable housing to be directly funded by the government.

But if Labor don't want to believe us or the experts, they can listen to what the community has to say. The Greens are a grassroots movement and we have been doorknocking, with hundreds of volunteers across the country, to ask the people about Labor's sham of a housing policy. We have knocked on thousands of doors and spoken to so many people who are copping massive rent and mortgage hikes, asking them what they think about the plan. The message that we got back was crystal clear—people are thoroughly disappointed with Labor's plan. They get it. A vast majority want a more ambitious plan. They want more action. They want real action to tackle the housing crisis that includes direct investment in public and affordable housing and national rent caps. They want us to fight for something better, and we will be doing that. We will be fighting for something better.

The Greens want action on housing, not a dud of a policy. We are pushing the government to improve it, and we will be moving several amendments, but it is up to the government to come to the table. People want Labor to go back to the drawing board and come back with a housing plan that actually tackles the housing and rental crisis that we are facing. We want $5 billion in direct investment, as I said earlier. To put this into perspective, $5 billion per year is a drop in the ocean compared to what the government is giving as stage 3 tax cuts to the billionaires or what they are spending on dangerous war machines. It's two per cent of the stage 3 tax cuts. It's about one per cent of what the nuclear subs are going to cost. Safe, secure, affordable and accessible housing is a human right, but decades of neoliberal policy has made speculative assets of what should be homes. The basic human right to shelter now takes a back seat to the market. That is an absolute shame. It is woeful and it is pathetic.

The reality is that we do have the money to fix the housing crisis in this country, just as we have the money to lift everyone out of poverty. It is purely a matter of political will. Labor's plan and this bill will make the housing and rental crisis worse. But Labor is really the only obstacle standing in the way of solving the housing crisis. We won't stop fighting on behalf of the millions of people who are in housing stress and who are being left behind. We will not stop fighting, and I hope that Labor can see sense, can come to the table and come up with a plan that actually helps people, not one that puts them into more distress.

1:17 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm very keen to speak on the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill 2023 and the related bills. I wish I had got a chance to speak on this earlier but, unfortunately, the Greens, as we know, pulled a stunt this morning to try to prevent us debating this really important legislation. Here we are. We are finally getting to this bill. I am sure that there will be more stunts during the week, but I'm really proud to be talking about the Housing Australia Future Fund and the significance of this bill in addressing the housing affordability crisis in our country.

This is a critical issue facing Australians. It is something that people talk to me about all the time, in regional Australia particularly. For far too long, we have witnessed inaction and delay under the former government when it comes to addressing the housing affordability crisis. We've had a decade of delay and now it is time to get on with fixing this problem. Under the previous government, we saw denial and neglect that exacerbated this crisis, leaving many Australians struggling to find a safe and secure place to call home, but our government has a plan to tackle this issue head-on. The Housing Australia Future Fund is the single most significant investment in social and affordable housing in a decade. The $10 billion fund to invest in 30,000 new social and affordable homes over the next five years is just the beginning. The fund also pledges $200 million for repairs to remote Indigenous housing, $100 million for crisis accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness, and $30 million for veterans' housing. These are essential commitments that would benefit some of our most vulnerable Australians.

The debate on this bill is a test for the Greens political party. It is a test because we need to know where they truly stand. Are they going to line up with the Liberal Party, as they are claiming they will do, to block this bill? Are they prepared to vote with the Liberal and National parties, who did nothing on housing affordability for a decade, and vote this bill down? It's a test for the Greens because they need to decide whether they will stop investment in housing or whether they will block this bill and the investment that this bill contains. Do they care more about politics or about actually getting things done?

On this side of the chamber, that is what we are here for. We are here to get things done. We took this policy to the election and we got people to vote on it. People in the regions that I am from were incredibly excited about this proposition and about a government that says we need to tackle this issue and we need to get things done. This is the start of that action. Perhaps I'm cynical, but seeking to block funding for affordable and social housing for vulnerable Australians seems to serve only one purpose, and that is politics. I can't see another reason why you would stand in the way of 30,000 new social and affordable homes over the next five years, $200 million for Indigenous housing repairs, $100 million for housing for those experiencing domestic violence and $30 million for veterans' housing. I cannot see a reason other than politics for the Greens political party to block this bill.

This is a test for the Greens on housing and whether they'll decide to line up with the Liberal and National parties, whether they choose to vote with the Liberal and National parties, and sit next to them to block this will. The Greens don't have the moral high ground on housing. I won't sit here and be lectured about how desperately people need housing. That is exactly why we are getting on with this bill. Somehow, the Greens seem to believe that because they held a doorknock on Saturday they have the moral high ground on housing. We have been doorknocking too, I can tell you, and the people in Griffith are pretty surprised about who is standing up for housing and who is seeking to block it.

The Housing Australia Future Fund Bill is urgent legislation. Despite all of the adjectives used by the Greens to describe this bill, they left one really important description out. That is that housing and homelessness peak bodies around the country want this bill passed. Those are the words that they leave out of every description of this bill—that the peak bodies on housing and homelessness want this bill passed. This includes National Shelter. It includes Homelessness Australia. These are the stakeholders that are supporting this bill. It includes the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association, the Community Housing Industry Association and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Those are just some of the peak bodies who wrote a statement around the time of the last sitting calling on the Senate to support this legislation. These are the voices that the Greens are choosing to ignore when they threaten to block this bill.

It's not just national peak bodies; it's also local service providers that are calling on us to pass this legislation. Before this legislation came to the Senate, I visited the Cairns Homelessness Services Hub to talk to them about this bill. They wanted us to pass this bill. That's because they are at the coalface of this housing and homelessness crisis and they want to see action taken.

It is unremarkable, I think, for the Liberal and National parties to oppose this bill. I think we can agree that they have opposed everything that we have brought to this chamber. They have opposed every single new idea and every policy that the government took to the election. They say, 'No, no, no,' to everything. That's up to them. They don't want to be a constructive opposition. They are just going to ignore everything the voters told them at the election and vote against everything that we bring to this chamber. So it is no surprise that they have opposed everything that we have brought forward to improve Australians' lives. However, the fact that the Greens are deciding to sit with the Liberals and block this bill is particularly concerning, given the magnitude of the housing affordability crisis in this country. The Greens really do need to decide if they are willing to work with the Liberal and National parties to sink this bill or whether they want to start action and get things done.

On this side of the chamber, we are ready to deliver housing relief for Australians. The regions that I visit in Queensland are crying out for investment in housing. They have been for years. It is particularly poignant that many members of the Greens are refusing to listen to these regional voices. I'm not surprised that members of the Liberal and National parties are refusing to listen to people in regional Australia. They wear the badge and say that they actually stand up for regional Australians, but they fail to support them when they walk in here. But I am surprised that the Greens are joining with them to ignore the voices of regional Australians who are so desperate for housing. We should be working together to ensure all Australians can have access to safe and affordable housing and we should be doing what we can to show national leadership. That is something our government is doing and has been doing on housing since we were elected. The Greens have called for national leadership. We are showing that national leadership. We don't need the Greens to call on it; we're doing it. We said before the election that we would do it, and we are doing it.

Most recently, at the national cabinet, we got all the states and territories to agree to develop reforms to increase housing supply and affordability and to put rental rights front and centre. All states and territories agreed to strengthen renting rights. That's what happens when you have a government committed to this action. That's what happens when you have a government committed to national leadership. That is what happens when you have a government that is listening to peak bodies on housing and homelessness instead of ignoring them. That's exactly what happens.

But the Housing Australia Future Fund is not the only thing that our government is doing to address the housing affordability crisis. I know that the parties around this chamber would have you believe that this bill is the only thing the government is doing. We know how important it is to address this housing affordability crisis. Stability and security are essential for the happiness and health of our community. That's why we have an ambitious housing reform agenda to ensure that more Australians have a safe and affordable place to call home. We said that we won't waste a day in delivering on this agenda, and we haven't.

The housing legislation package is a comprehensive suite of measures to get more social and affordable homes on the ground. The legislation implements our government's commitments to establish the Housing Australia Future Fund, to transform the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and to establish the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council. This is on top of: our government's commitment to the National Housing Accord, a shared agenda ambition to build one million well-located homes over the next five years; our $350 million of additional Commonwealth funding to deliver 10,000 affordable homes over the next five years from 2024, which has been matched by the states and the territories; our commitment to widening the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, made up of $575 million, which we've already done; and our National Housing and Homelessness Plan to set short-, medium- and long-term goals to improve housing outcomes across Australia. We've also delivered the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, which has already helped more than 2,700 Australians into homeownership, with the majority of those in my home state of Queensland. We are taking action on housing on top of this bill. This is not the only thing that we are doing, but it is a key piece of our reform.

This is an important piece of legislation and it's an important test, as I said, for the Greens political party. What's important for people to understand is that you have a government committed to addressing the housing and affordability crisis. We have shown national leadership when it comes to rental reforms. We are working with the states and territories, as you must do in this space, because we can't do it on our own, and we are showing national leadership and delivering on those reforms. We are delivering more investment for social and affordable housing than we have seen for the past decade.

The Greens need to understand that sitting with the Liberals, as they plan to do, and blocking this bill won't build any new houses. It will actually stop homes from being built. Moving motions to suspend standing orders won't build more houses for women fleeing domestic violence. It won't build more homes; it will only stop houses being built. Every time the member for Griffith and the member for Melbourne hold a press conference in Parliament House to defend their miserable position, it won't build any more houses. It might get them more hits on social media and it might give them a chance to have in the newspaper, but it won't build a single new house and it won't help a single vulnerable Australian facing homelessness.

Maybe that's exactly what the Greens party want: more social media hits, more names in the newspapers, more media conferences, more chances to make their name stand out in the sun. But that doesn't do anything for people facing a housing affordability crisis. This is all about politics for the Greens political party. It has been from the very beginning of our discussion about housing. And no matter the number of press conferences that the member for Griffith or the member for Melbourne attend, no matter the number of times that they try to defend their position, one thing is really simple. Eventually this house will vote on this bill. Eventually the Senate will come to a position of voting on this legislation, no matter the suspension of standing orders, no matter the attempts from the Greens political party to put this off. When we vote on this legislation—

Photo of Deborah O'NeillDeborah O'Neill (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It being 1.30 pm, I shall now proceed to two-minute statements. Senator Green, you have two minutes remaining, if you wish to be in continuation when the matter returns before the Senate.