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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1374

Senator WALTERS(11.59) —I was interested in the Minister giving himself a pat on the back. He was responsible for setting aside 600 acres in New South Wales! I ask the Minister: What is the area that Tasmania has set aside?

Senator Gietzelt —I beg your pardon.

Senator WALTERS —The Minister indulges in conversation and does not hear the questions. I suggest it would be better if he paid attention to the debate. The Minister has said that he is very proud of the fact that in Gough Whitlam's time he had 600 acres set aside in Sydney as a wilderness area. That is wonderful. I ask the Minister: How many acres is he asking to be set aside in Tasmania? The Minister shakes his head. He does not know. The Minister has just said that he does not know and he is the Minister in charge of this Bill.

Senator Gietzelt —On a point of order, Mr Chairman. I want that remark withdrawn. I am not prepared to get into a debate. The issue that is before the Chair is a piece of legislation establishing an inquiry. I will not go down the track of what this or that person might say or what this or that State might do with respect to wilderness areas. I indicated that we are debating legislation to set up an inquiry. We are not debating whether Tasmania will have 12.5 per cent, 33 per cent or 100 per cent declared as a wilderness area.

The CHAIRMAN —Order! I will rule on the question of relevance. I do not think that anything Senator Walters said needs to be withdrawn. I call Senator Archer.