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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 2757


Senator WALTERS(11.44) —The Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Gareth Evans, really tempts us to work out just what he is on about. If he tries to justify the statements he made previously by telling us that he did not even refer to Hansard records or make any attempt at all to get information from the officials, all I can say is that he must have worked in his usual way, off the top of his head, the streakers' defence `we will do it all on the run' and said whatever came into his head. The true situation was not about the length of debate that took place in the Senate; it was rather about the response by the public at large, the tens of thousands of petitioners who wrote to the Senate pointing out that the Australian Bill of Rights Bill 1985 was something that they did not want at all.

If Mr Hawke is anything, he is a pragmatic sort of politician. He decided that once again the people did not want it and he was prepared to pull it out. Of course, it is a lot of rubbish for Senator Evans to make the stupid excuse that consideration of this legislation has taken so much time of the Senate that he has been forced to pull it out. The people of Australia realise that. They have won-they have beaten Senator Evans and the Government on this issue. It was nothing to do with the length of the debate in this place.