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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1559

Senator HARRADINE(5.55) —I support this motion with some diffidence. I do not automatically support the suspension of Standing Orders but I believe that this is a matter which the Senate should be able to discuss at this point, because paper No. 5 is the paper which contains a purported settlement of the problem and a program, agreed by all, which would have alleviated the problem in the dairying industry. That has since been overturned by the Government. Subsequently a state of emergency has been declared in Victoria. A great deal of concern has been expressed in my State and in other States. I know that we have debated the issue here before, but I believe the opportunity is now available, with the Australian Agricultural Council's paper before us, to press the Government on why that agreement or understanding by the Council has been overturned. It is opportune because, as we all know, legislation from the Government is coming before this Parliament very shortly in respect of this very matter. If this motion is passed the matters raised today might well be taken into account by the Government and the Government itself could address the matter in a--

Senator McIntosh —Do you believe that?

Senator HARRADINE —Yes. If the Government went back to the understanding reached in the Australian Agricultural Council it might well do that. We know also that amendments are being put forward by the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation. This, of course, would come out in this debate and hopefully the Government would be able to pick those up before the matter came here. For those reasons, which I think are quite valid, I support this motion.