Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Report

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (19:18): It is typical of this whole inquiry that this debate finishes in one minute. The Labor Party have taken all the time so that I will be prevented from saying anything. That is typical of the way this committee is run. The hearings of the committee are set down when the chair knows that the two government senators are not available. How does she know that? Because she has been told it and because she is aware of other meetings for other committees that have been scheduled for exactly the same time.

Today this interim report, which is usually a one-pager seeking an extension, was dropped on government members . It is 36 pages, and we were told there was a meeting in 75 minutes to consider this report. You could not even read the report in the time that this chairman and this stacked committee allowed for senators to read the chair's report and make a considered decision on it. This is a farcical inquiry, this is a farcical report, and the whole process of this committee is an absolute farce and an embarrassment to the Senate. It brings the whole Senate committee process into disrepute. There has not been a shred of evidence to support anything in this report. The Attorney-General has been found to be blameless.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! It being 7.20, the time for debate has expired.

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