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Tuesday, 9 October 1984
Page: 1479


Senator PETER RAE(5.37) —The Opposition will not support the amendment moved by Senator Jack Evans on behalf of the Australian Democrats for similar reasons to those outlined by the Minister for Industry and Commerce ( Senator Button) when he concluded the second reading debate. At this stage it would be rushing at a rate which the industry would not be able to digest. There may be other reasons into which I will not go at the moment as to why the Opposition would not wish to see the proposal for total divorcement, which is a very authoritarian regulatory action, being adopted where it may be possible to achieve, by deregulation and self-regulation, the same or better objectives. For those reasons the Opposition will not support the amendment.

I simply take this opportunity-as a Tasmanian I cannot miss it-to say that anything which enables some sorting out of the chaos which exists in Tasmania in relation to petrol prices and the high extra price which is paid by all Tasmanian motorists would be welcome. If anybody can think of any amendments which would achieve some improvement in that situation I am sure that they would be applauded by all Tasmanian motorists. It is a situation which is extremely unfortunate. We are told that it is a function of market size. I remain to be convinced but I will not detain the Senate to debate that matter any further. The Opposition will not support the amendment.