It's been a chaotic couple of days in the Senate and there's no sign of that changing this week!
The usual argy-bargy over procedure and process continues but it is the legislative agenda that is worthy of comment.
Specifically there are two bills that have failed the common sense test.
The first of these is about 'protections' to make hurt feelings an offence during the debate on redefining marriage. This was rushed into the senate this morning and within hours passed with little critical examination - but with plenty of emotional and self-serving stories over how nasty the debate has been.
Unlike most, I chose to question the government over some contents of the bill and frankly wasn’t satisfied with the answers.
Firstly, it overturns the people's right to access the legal system by requiring their complaint to be first approved by the Attorney-General, who coincidentally is a cheerleader for the rainbow brigade.
Secondly, the Minister was unable to explain whether it would be an offence to share (via social media) pre-existing and previously published images, videos or other material that doesn't comply with the new rules.
This could potentially impact millions of people and so I have been forced to write to him seeking an answer.
As ill-considered as the bill was, the passage of an earlier bill should really ring alarm bells.
In their perceived wisdom, the government have sought to comply with their international climate change agreements by making some common household items more expensive. Right now, they have targeted the leaf blower, weed-whacker, lawnmower and outboard motor with expensive new emissions standards.It’s a kind of carbon tax that can be extended to any motorised device at the whim of a Minister. That means a Minister can apply the new carbon tax onto your chainsaw, motorbike, generator, car or tractor at any time. I'd suggest the new rules are only just the beginning ... and there is next to nothing we can do about it.
Should that occur, it has been estimated that the cost of an average new car would rise by around $5,000. That's the real price of this stealth carbon tax imposed by green zealots, to worship at the altar of global warming. Whilst we see foolish things all the time, given how much hot air and political capital that has been expended on the carbon tax over the years, it is amazing that this passed the parliament with virtually no objection.
Labor, Liberal, Greens, National and One Nation parties all stated they supported the bill. I'm pleased to say I didn’t, but regret that I couldn’t stop it. Two ill-considered government laws in just two days. Who knows just how many there are still in the pipeline?