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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 1628


Senator MARTIN(11.40) —I wish to make a very brief statement on behalf of the Opposition. When the Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill 1984 was debated in the House of Representatives debate concentrated on those areas of the Bill with which the Opposition took issue. As a consequence the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West) subsequently claimed that we were opposed to significant sections of the Bill. That was simply because the opportunity did not arise, or had not been taken, in the House of Representatives to state whether we agree with, or at least have no objection to , all of these other changes. In the interests of the speedy passage of Bills through the Senate today so they can be returned to the House of Representatives for it to consider the amendments made to the Bills in the Senate before rising today for the election, I have not sought to speak on other significant sections of the Bill. My reason for this is simply the Opposition's desire to co-operate with the Government. I put on record that the Opposition supports the other significant changes in the Bill. Indeed they were initiated under the Fraser Government and the full view of that government, the present opposition, on those additional issues is contained in a statement by Mr Macphee to the House of Representatives in 1982. It is a statement to which I have referred on numerous occasions. I now look forward to the Government giving credit where credit is due.