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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2085

Senator WATSON (4.33 p.m.) —The opposition naturally has sympathy with the issues raised by the Australian Democrats. We do not find it at all surprising that the Democrats have raised these issues. Certainly the National Trust, while grateful for the innovation that has been introduced here, feels that perhaps $2 million is far too low and that a figure tenfold that is more appropriate. Senator Coulter has suggested that even that figure may be also inadequate and has asked the Senate, in effect, for a blank cheque. Senator Coulter has not put before the Senate the likely cost consequences of the Democrat's proposal. Given the impact on revenue, we would have some concern about the open-ended nature of the effect of the amendment. For that reason, the opposition will not be supporting it.