Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Canberra today it was remarkable that the Coalition thought the Government - even in minority - had an entire right to gatekeep bills passed by a majority in both houses.
As the constitutional debate over the ability of the Senate to give rise to bills continues, the Manager of Opposition Business in the House, Christopher Pyne, conceded that " it would be entirely a matter for the Government to accept, amend or reject" the student allowance bill even if the House passes it.
"Parliament is supreme, under the Constitution. Mindful of sections 53 and 54 of the Constitution which limit the Senate's powers to levy taxes or appropriate money, bills which would be financed from standing appropriations are legitimate and parliament, not the government, must remain the ultimate authority," Senator Brown said.
"If Christopher Pyne's 'logic' is followed through, the Senate would be reduced in relevance, as well as the House."
The Greens do not accept the Pyne concession but do believe non-government bills should have a nominated mechanism for financing, Senator Brown said.