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Tuesday, 7 May 1985
Page: 1481

Senator JACK EVANS(10.27) —I share the same two concerns expressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Chaney. Those concerns are, firstly, the potential for the original clause to be abused and the possibility that the Government may go haywire and run counter to the wishes of this Parliament in the directions that are issued under the Automotive Industry Authority Amendment Bill 1985. As Senator Chaney has indicated, it is a very vital Bill, not just because it involves the expenditure of $150m, almost at ministerial discretion, but also because it will be, in effect, the key to the redirection and restructuring of the automotive industry.

The other concern expressed by Senator Chaney-he may have overcome it to his satisfaction but he has not to mine-is the potential for disruption if his amendment were passed. The potential for disruption is not just to the Automotive Industry Authority but to the industry at large and to those potential beneficiaries who may be in a position where, for some months they are waiting to discover whether a regulation has been disallowed. At this stage of the automotive industry that has the potential for disaster because the one thing this industry now seems to have is a degree of certainty in the direction and structuring that the Government is designing for it. To inject now a degree of uncertainty, whereby the industry would be in a position to lobby and apply pressure to the Opposition and the Australian Democrats, either directly or through the community at large, to have regulations and directions by the Minister disallowed would not only be disruptive but also could lead to that feeling of uncertainty from which the industry has suffered for many years. I indicate before we adjourn consideration of the debate tonight that the Democrats will oppose the Opposition's amendment.

Consideration interrupted.

The CHAIRMAN —Order! It being 10.30 p.m., under sessional order I put the question:

That the Chairman do now leave the chair and report to the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Chairman having reported accordingly-