Telstra sale legislation passed by Australian Senate

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The three bills previously debated in the House of Representatives which enable the full sale of Telstra were passed by the Senate, September 14.

The so-called “guillotine” was used and Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens, and Australian Democrat senators criticized the Government for not informing other parties that they intended to do so; Senator Andrew Bartlett of the Democrats said in the chamber today that the Liberal senators actions were “arrogant” and that these senators used the guillotine “because [they] can”. Senator Bob Brown of the Greens had said “This is a disgraceful day for democracy.”

Opposition members attempted to move amendments or motions to try and extend debate, furthermore Democrats senators moved amendments based on advice from the ACCC, but these were defeated in another sequence of several divisions.

Later in the day (after debate was suspended due to Question Time and other matters), the bills passed the third reading by a majority of two votes.

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