Senator SCULLION (Northern Territory) (12:29 PM) —I rise to speak on the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2008. This bill makes some minor changes to social security law and family assistance law to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal in dealing with individual cases. This has been a bipartisan approach and that clearly is why it is in the non-controversial section today. There are a number of changes that allow Centrelink, when giving evidence through the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, to now make oral submissions, which is far more convenient. I know you are familiar with this matter, Madam Acting Deputy President Moore. The amendments are relatively minor in nature but will definitely improve the operation of the appeals tribunal.
We have always supported the bill. We support the bill today as much as we did when it was debated in the other place over a year ago. This bill was introduced into the Senate on 5 February 2009. It is a bill that is going to improve the operation of government service delivery and yet, tragically, it has been delayed by the process of government business in this place for a year. We have absolutely no idea why it has not been brought forward. I urge the government to stop delaying the passage of this important piece of legislation and pass it without further delay. I commend the bill to the Senate.