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Thursday, 3 February 1994
Page: 334

Mrs GALLUS —My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories. Further to my question yesterday, which the minister failed to answer, consistent with her approach today, as sports minister, did she or did she not check with the environment department on the credentials of any club likely to be engaged in shooting animals accidentally, legally or in any other way?

Mrs KELLY —I have waited 11 months to get a question from the shadow spokesperson on the environment. I have got two questions and they have both been on sports grants. That indicates pretty clearly the lack of interest the coalition generally has on environment policy. However, I am very pleased that at long last we are getting to focus at least in a small way on the issues of the environment. I just wish the shadow minister would take into consideration her own advice which she gave to the aspiring Bronwyn Bishop when she said on ABC radio:

It's very easy to make glib statements . . . It's a lot harder to know those policy areas in depth and make a contribution knowing all the facts.

I just wish she would take some notice of her own advice.

Mr Downer —Mr Speaker, on a point of order: this question, from my recollection, is the sixth question the minister has been asked and she has so far not answered one single question and given one single piece of relevant information. I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that on this particular occasion the minister, with her prodigious memory, might like to give us some information to answer the question.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. The minister will answer the question.

Mrs KELLY —In answering the question, I was referring to the environmental policies, or the lack thereof, of the opposition. I was referring to advice that the shadow minister has given to her colleague Bronwyn Bishop, and I was hoping she would take that advice herself.

  In relation to the opposition's environmental policy, or lack thereof, we have had a number of press releases put out by the shadow minister over the last month. While her media releases may consistently be very wide of the mark, they do contain a number of statements that hint of possible opposition environmental policy. I would just like to go through some of those. One of the things she referred to is the inclusion of golf courses in the national reserve system—that will go down very well—special licences to allow four-wheel drives—

Mr Howard —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! A moment ago in response to certainly one point of order and I gather another that is about to be made, a request was made to the minister to come to answer the question. I am listening carefully to the minister. I am not sure whether golf courses fit into the question that has been asked, and I would ask her to come to the substance of the question.

Mrs KELLY —I was just pointing out how irrelevant the opposition is in the development of its environmental policy. The shadow minister's press releases have been irrelevant. She has made press releases in relation to this issue, and her question remains as irrelevant as the press releases she has put out on numerous occasions.