Pollies in PJs why the Senate sat right through the night

AFTER more than 26 continuous hours of debate, the Senate is still arguing over a whopping 37 amendments about the Coalition's proposed changes to the Upper House's voting rules.

The changes, which aim to rid the government of those pesky crossbenchers who keep scrutinising Coalition legislation, have been the sole focus, bar some committee reports, of the Senate all week in Canberra.

The government hopes to pass the changes this week, and has extended sitting hours until the legislation passes, Labor and the eight senate crossbenchers have been delaying a vote using a raft of procedural tactics.

At one point early last night, the discussion degenerated into a debate over whether "bum" or "bottom" was the appropriate term to use in the Chamber to refer to people's rear ends.

 

While the Opposition and crossbenchers have fought to prevent the bill passing this week, ultimately it is likely to come to a vote today, with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and The Greens supplying the government with the numbers to secure the law's passage.

Debate has ranged from the potential for a High Court challenge to the government's proposals to Labor accusations of a "filthy" and "dirty deal" being struck between the Coalition and The Greens.

The Senate sitting continues.


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