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Monday, 20 June 1994
Page: 1750


Senator SCHACHT (Minister for Small Business, Customs and Construction) (6.16 p.m.) —I will reiterate what I said in the second reading debate. The government will ensure that the automotive industry has significant reporting in its annual report. The annual report will be debated in the chamber. I point out to Senator Spindler that any minister from any party who wanted to gag the automotive industry in this country would be spectacularly unsuccessful. The industry is well noted for its public profile. Whether on the manufacturing side, the trade union side, the consumer side, the component side or the distribution and sales side, the industry has well structured and well formed organisations that are very vocal when they see their members' interests being affected.

  If there were an attempt by any government to try to gag debate on the automotive industry, it would not succeed. This government is quite happy to have a robust, vigorous industry that is willing to promote its interests and concerns about its future in Australia. I do not wish to get into a sideshow debate between the Democrats and the opposition over the automotive industry or petrol prices. I commend the bill to the parliament.

  Amendment negatived.

  Bill agreed to.

  Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.