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Tuesday, 9 October 1984
Page: 1479

Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry and Commerce)(5.39) —I thank Senator Rae for his remarks about Tasmania. I too am concerned about the Tasmanian situation. I am sure that we all will be in the next few weeks. I also thank Senator Rae for his observations about the amendment moved by Senator Jack Evans. I cannot give a timetable for total divorcement because the Government is not hooked on total divorcement. The Australian Democrats are, I know. The Government is saying that the total divorcement notion, which has had a lot of attractiveness about it in the past, particularly because of practices in this industry, is something of a fetish. It may be correct; it may not. We want to see this legislation working and how things sort themselves out as a result, certainly before we give any further attention to that question. It may be that it would require examination in the future. But the Government has no timetable for proceeding to total divorcement. That is consideration which has to be addressed in two or three years' time, I think, when we see whether the needs that might have been perceived in favour of total divorcement in the past are still valid. For those reasons, we do not accept the amendment.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be added (Senator Jack Evans's amendment) be added.