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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 1678

Senator PETER RAE(4.43) —I want to make quite clear the proposition put forward by the Opposition. The position is not as was so lyrically put by the Minister for Industry and Commerce (Senator Button)-a tune taken up by Senator Jack Evans-to the effect that this body would be haring off in every direction here, thither and all over the place. If after 10 or 11 years the Industries Assistance Commission has not used it, it is hardly likely suddenly to become a body of irresponsible joy trippers going down every possible byway.

Senator Macklin —If it hasn't used it, why does it need it?

Senator PETER RAE —Because it is there as a reserve power, and reserve powers may be of extreme use. It adds to the flexibility and confirms independence. If the Democrats do not want the IAC to be flexible or independent, they should not support our amendment. They should do what they have indicated they are going to do. They want a body that is not flexible or independent, a body that is not capable of acting quickly in the interests of Australian industry to protect it against unfair international trade practices. That was the basis on which the amendment was moved.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Peter Rae's amendment) be left out.