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Wednesday, 1 June 1994
Page: 1118

Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (6.35 p.m.) —Firstly, I want to correct a couple of obvious misleading statements made by Senator O'Chee. He referred to me allegedly not wanting to tell the people about signing treaties. That is not what I said. I said it was not a surprise to me that a press release was not put out about signing the treaties. There is a lot of difference between not telling the people and not putting out a press release—

Senator O'Chee —Read the Hansard, Nick.

Senator SHERRY —If Senator O'Chee reads the Hansard it will show him exactly what I have said. As usual, in his very verbose and eloquent way, Senator O'Chee has run away with the facts. I do not fancy myself as any particular expert or hot-shot—to use Senator O'Chee's words—on constitutional reform, as Senator O'Chee obviously seems to think he is. We will deal with the issue, and the issue before us is ILO convention No.137. Quite clearly, at the international level, Australia would not be complying with its duty under international law to give effect to its treaty obligations arising from its ratification of ILO convention No. 137. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which Senator O'Chee was referring to, states:

Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.

If Senator O'Chee wants to be a party to a government that at a future date refuses to act in good faith, so be it upon him.

  Bill, as amended, agreed to.

  Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.