Australian Labor gov't starts introducing new legislation

12:33, September 29, 2010      

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The Australian federal government Wednesday started introducing its legislative program to the lower house, as the first regular sitting day of the new parliament gets underway.

Labor listed 20 bills for introduction to the lower house on Wednesday. Another six bills are being introduced in the Senate.

According to Australia Associated Press, Health Minister Nicola Roxon kicked off proceedings by re-introducing the National Health and Hospitals Network Bill 2010.

The legislation was first introduced in 2009 but was not passed by the 42nd parliament.

The bill's approval by parliament is needed to roll out the government's proposed 100 local hospital networks across the country.

Meanwhile, the Australian Greens said on Wednesday to introduce a legislation to the Senate that aims to amend existing laws which do not recognize that marriage can include couples of the same sex.

However, Labor policy is to support the view that marriage is between a man and a woman, while Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out Labor Members of Parliament (MPs) being allowed a conscience vote on a new move to allow same-sex marriage.

"You should expect to see the Labor Party voting as a political party, voting in unison," Gillard told ABC Radio.

Later, MPs will debate changes to the rules governing how the lower house operates.

Source: Xinhua


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