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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
12 August 2004
An assertion has been made that the Government has ranked the Marriage Amendment Bill ahead of the Anti-Terrorism (No 3) Bill. This is untrue.
The Government has sought passage of 23 pieces of legislation in this fortnight yet up to 12.45pm today no legislation had been passed.
Overnight the Government sought agreement from the Opposition for the passage of 13 bills, which are on today's notice paper. The Anti-Terrorism (No 3) Bill was included in that list of priority bills and is listed 2nd on today's program. (visit www.aph.gov.au/senate)
The Anti-Terrorism (No 3) Bill remains a high priority for the Government for passage in this fortnight. The bill includes important practical measures to deal with disaster victim identification using the national DNA database system in the event of a mass casualty disaster in Australia. It also gives Australian authorities the power to seize foreign passports of persons in Australia who are subject to a request for an ASIO questioning warrant.
The Government expects clearance of the US Free Trade Agreement, the Marriage Amendment Bill and potentially one other bill, the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Prisoner Voting and Other Measures), Bill today. Unfortunately, based on indications from the Opposition, these are the only pieces of legislation for which we have support to deal with today.