Home - Claire Moore - Labor Senator for Queensland

BUSINESS - Days and Hours of Meeting

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:51): I am the 'reverse engineer', and I am putting before the Senate that, in terms of clarity, we believe it is more clear for the Senate to have on record that we are sitting this week, with a clear indication, as in the minister's motion, about the range of bills the government wish to bring forward and the sitting times on Wednesday and Thursday if required. We believe that it is actually an easier way for the Senate to handle our business to see how we are going with our debate in terms of the process and then, should there be a requirement to come back next week, we would be able to take that decision as a Senate later in this week. Our amendment is that the motion before the Senate should clearly say that the days will be (1)(a)(i), that (1)(a)(ii) be deleted and then the days continue as set out. I actually take the point that the minister has made that the media was quite clear that the intention of people coming back for this sitting was to look at the particular pieces of legislation. The focus was always coming back to the Senate to look at the pieces of legislation that are listed on the days of meeting motion. We do not agree with that, but that is the process that has been put forward.

For the rest of the days of meeting of the Senate, Labor will make every effort to ensure that the pieces of legislation are completed this week. Should there be a need towards the end of this week, Wednesday or Thursday, we would be open to the Senate considering whether it is required to come back next week. We do not consider that is reverse engineering. We consider that the Senate should own the process for its hours of sitting and be able to look at how the debate can continue over this period of time. Labor are making the small amendment to remove (1)(a)(ii), referring to the sittings for next week, and then we want to see how the process continues and, should it be required, we will consider whether there is a need to come back next week. I move:

Omit paragraph (1)(a)(ii).

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is the amendment moved by Senator Moore be agreed to.