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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3178


Senator SANDERS(5.40) —Mr Temporary Chairman, I will be very brief. I have always held the view that if this place were open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, somebody would stand up and speak. I have heard so many repetitious speeches today that it has been awful. I will not belabour the point. Basically, Senator Sir John Carrick said that we ought to export more uranium and control it. That is about the same as saying that if we want to control drugs let us grow a lot of heroin and sell it all over the world and control it. It does not work that way. If uranium is mined and sent all over the world, it will be misused. There are no safe uses for uranium. We have seen that from Chernobyl, from Three Mile Island, and from Windscale, over and over again. There are no peaceful uses.

These amendments have been scathed as being badly drafted, ill prepared, et cetera, but the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Gareth Evans, said that they were an elegant solution to the problems which we faced in bringing them forward. Senator Jessop said they were cunning. This would destroy the argument on both sides, that this is some sort of shonky trick that we are putting up-ill thought out and ill considered. In fact, it is an honest attempt to put the Australian Labor Party policy on the shipment of uranium to France into the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty Bill 1986. It would delay the Bill; I admit that. It would delay it for several months-until February or whenever the lower House would consider it. However, it would put some teeth into the Bill. It would make it worth while. It would make our friends in the Pacific sit up and take notice, and it would make the entire world sit up and take notice, that we have taken a strong step in the control of nuclear weapons in the Pacific.

As the operative wording is that `Australia will refuse to allow the supply of Australian uranium to France until France ceases testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific region', which, of course, is Labor Party Policy, I say that it is time for those ALP senators who believe in the ideals of the Labor Party to show that they still have guts enough to support what they know is right.

Question put:

That the amendments (Senator Sanders's) be agreed to.