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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23348


Mrs GALLUS (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs) (5:27 PM) —I move:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Non-Proliferation Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 amends the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Act 1998 and the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994. The measures in this bill will strengthen Australia's arrangements for the protection of nuclear facilities and material and related information. The bill will enable Australia to bring into force legislation banning nuclear weapon tests ahead of entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The bill implements changes to the machinery of government which will improve the effectiveness of each of the acts affected.

The government is pleased the Senate has passed the Non-Proliferation Legislation Amendment Bill 2003. The government supported the amendment proposed by the opposition and welcomes its constructive engagement in the bill. This bill implements a range of Australian policies and treaty commitments which promote effectively the non-proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons. It ensures that we meet international obligations and expectations to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, whether by rogue states or by terrorists. This bill does so without impinging on the reasonable rights of all Australians to freedom of expression and legal protest. The bill is entirely consistent with the government's stance of taking strong but reasonable measures to protect the interests and wellbeing of Australian citizens. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.