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Thursday, 10 May 1984
Page: 1898


Senator PETER RAE(10.47) —I would like to reply to what I regard is one of the most mischievous, misleading and misrepresentative speeches I have heard in this chamber. Firstly, I indicated that the Opposition would agree to two-thirds of the proposals-that is, four of the six-going back into the Bill. The Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) spoke as if bloody- mindedness, as he called it, had meant that there was an absolute refusal to consider any change whatsoever. Change has been made. The Minister should acknowledge that and not carry on as if the Opposition was just adopting an obstinate, bloody-minded attitude.

Secondly, the Minister, if he was going to quote a telegram that was sent to him, might at least have considered, either in the first place or after my interjection, reading the reply because the reply indicated that all industry representatives refuted the suggestion made in the telegram and were strongly opposed to the destruction of our attempts to preserve the chance for private enterprise to participate and were keen to ensure that value for the dollars spent was obtained. I believe that the Minister has totally misrepresented and misunderstood the position adopted by members of the Opposition generally in relation to the Senate; that is, that we are representatives of the States but not of State governments. I object to the Government of Tasmania being called a conservative government by the Minister; it is a Liberal Government. If the socialist Minister wants to start throwing names around, I will call him a socialist Minister all the time instead of a Labor Minister. I do not suppose he will mind. But let us have the proper names referred to in this chamber when we are talking formally about what sorts of governments exist or what sorts of parties are in power or not in power in any particular place.

Finally, let me reiterate that as a result of the reconsideration and discussion which has taken place, four of the six proposals for the new definition of exempt works are to remain in the Australian Bicentennial Road Development Trust Fund Amendment Bill as far as the Opposition is concerned. Senator Jack Evans will be moving an amendment. I wish the Minister would acknowledge that if he speaks and not misrepresent the position in the ways to which I have already referred.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Clause 5 (Additional conditions with respect to approved projects).