The leader of the National Party (apparently it’s not Barnaby Joyce) spoke to ABC radio this morning, anticipating a pretty lengthy Senatorial consideration of the CPRS legislation and its associated amendments.
WARREN TRUSS: Well, this is a very important piece of legislation by any standards and it is very complicated and I think it is perfectly reasonable for the Senate, the house of review, to want to spend time to deal with the issues in a constructive and questioning way.
LYNDAL CURTIS: So you wouldn’t regard any move to ask as many questions as your senators wanted or speak as much as they wanted as a filibuster?
WARREN TRUSS: Well, we are not seeking to filibuster but certainly asking reasonable questions, debating a very large number of amendments is going to take some time.
The Opposition parties, now that their issues of leadership are momentarily in order, are making much of the unseemly haste with which the Government is demanding the Senate consider the CPRS package. What arrant hypocritical rot.
This is, let’s not forget, the second time this package has come before the upper house. And besides, as former Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett points out this morning on Crikey’s The Stump group blog:
This is the mob who when in government less than three years ago were pushing entire pieces of legislation through the Senate in the space of a week, sometimes without even the pretence of a brief Senate Inquiry (or sometimes with the pretence of a brief inquiry, whilst making it blatantly obvious it was just a pretence).
Major amendments to workplace relations laws were foisted on the Senate with at best a few hours to assess. The entire package of Northern Territory Intervention legislation was given a week, eventually including a begrudging one day Committee Inquiry which refused point blank to take evidence from the authors of the Little Children are Sacred report which allegedly underpinned the whole thing.
The Senate should get on with it and put the CPRS to a vote as expeditiously as possible.
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