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Wednesday, 20 June 2001
Page: 24676


Senator BOLKUS (10:00 AM) —The opposition will not support these amendments. They do go very much to the heart of the RFA repealing definitions. I just wish to make one further point to Senator Bartlett: my recollection is a bit different from yours, Senator Bartlett. You did have an opportunity to do this in your negotiations with the government when the EPBC legislation first went through the parliament in 1999. You did not insist on them then; you sold out on what you have claimed to be so important since that day. It is a bit rich for you to come in now and say that you are trying to rewrite history and trying to assert that this was something that the Democrats tried to do but did not get support for in 1999. You were at that secret negotiating table with the government. You dropped these amendments; they were not core amendments when you made those agreements with the government. Then you come back into the Senate and ask other senators to do the work for you on something that you were not prepared to make core fundamental concerns in those negotiations. So it is a bit rich to be rewriting history to that effect.