Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    
Friday, 19 October 1984
Page: 2090

Senator Walsh —On 9 October 1984 (Hansard, page 1443) Senator Chaney asked me as Minister representing the Minister for Trade, the following question, without notice:

What has the Government done to guard against retaliatory actions that might be taken by the European Economic Community over the decision to suspend uranium supply to France while that country continues testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific region.

The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The action taken in regard to the supply of Australian uranium to France is of a special nature, and serves to protest the continued testing of nuclear weapons in our area. The Government has made its position known to France.

Retaliatory action, whether by France and/or the European Community, is unlikely. Accordingly, there are no 'contingency plans' for such an eventuality. Nevertheless, were there to be any trade reprisals the Government would view such action with concern, and deal with the matter as appropriate at that time.


Senator Gareth Evans —Yesterday Senator Walters asked me the following question about a report which the Human Rights Commission had prepared:

My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. Is it a fact that the Human Rights Commission commissioned Dr Gabriel Moens of the Law School of the University of Sydney to do a study on affirmative action, concepts, justification and practice? Will Dr Moens's report, which has been with the Commission for about six or seven weeks, be made public? Has the Attorney seen a copy of the report? Are there any implications in the report critical of some aspects of the Government's Green Paper, particularly in regard to targets? Did the Attorney-General communicate with the Commission, which is an independent body, questioning Dr Moens's suitability for the task?

I am informed that the Human Rights Commission on 22 March 1983 engaged Dr Gabriel Moens to carry out a consultancy for the Commission on 'Affirmative Action: Concepts, Justifications and Practice'. A description of the project is contained in Page 24 of the HRC Annual Report 1982-1983. The final report was to be submitted to the Commission not later than 28 February 1984. The first draft of the report was received by the Commission on 13 September 1984 at the conclusion of its last meeting. It is to be considered at its forthcoming meeting on 24-25 October 1984. I have not seen a copy of the report. I am not in a position to say what the report contains.

I did, on 4 May 1983, at the request of the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women, communicate with the Commission concerning the project. I raised the question of the appropriateness of Dr Moens's undertaking the study. I was informed that the usual processes of consultation and of evaluating and obtaining approvals for the proposal to select Dr Moens from other tenderers were followed, including the consultation of academic referees. The question whether the report will be made public is a matter for the Commission which, as Senator Walters points out, is an independent statutory body.