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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 438

Senator GIBSON (4.18 p.m.) —The coalition supports the government's amendments to this bill. But it is interesting to note that at this very time there is a fair bit of turmoil in the government's ranks about—

Senator Schacht —Robust debate.

Senator GIBSON —Indeed, very robust debate, and obviously there was a critical meeting yesterday. Judging by today's newspaper reports, there is indeed a lot of conflict within the government about this proposal. The minister knows that the coalition is in favour of privatising government businesses, including this one. But we would like to draw the attention of the committee to this matter, which is causing great dispute within the government's ranks. When the government actually wants to do something sensible for a change, members of the left wing jump up and down, creating lots of noise and claiming they have been sold out within the government. We on our side can only say that we welcome the government's announcement. In consequence, we welcome the amendments that the government has proposed here. We look forward to the debate on this matter at a later date.