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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3118

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(10.10) —Mr President--

The PRESIDENT —This is a suspension motion, Senator Evans.

Senator GARETH EVANS —Nonetheless, we can debate it?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I have not had any notice of this matter from the Australian Democrats. I do not think it is a motion that can reasonably be supported. It is the desire, as I am well aware, of the Democrats to ensure that their motion about uranium sales to France gets an airing in this chamber. They will have an opportunity to do that in an amendment, which is in order, to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty Bill which is before the Parliament now and which will be dealt with in the Committee stage quite soon, I hope. Under those circumstances, I do not think there is any justification-in terms of ensuring the Democrats the right, which they no doubt want to exercise, to have their particular point of view expressed-for taking procedures the extra stage and bringing on Senator Sanders's Bill. No doubt if his amendment to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty Bill is passed in the Committee stage a question will arise at some appropriate stage as to when his Bill ought to be debated, but that question is wholly hypothetical at this stage.

Senator Haines —So you are saying in advance that you are not going to support the amendment; so there is no need to discuss our Bill.

Senator GARETH EVANS —That question can be determined at the appropriate time. No rights will be put at risk by Senator Sanders's Bill not proceeding at this particular stage.