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Tuesday, 7 June 1994
Page: 1404

Senator IAN MACDONALD (4.50 p.m.) —All Senator Collins has demonstrated yet again is that he has absolutely no idea of what the debate is about. He does not understand the motion before the chair or the motion moved by Senator Panizza or indeed what the matter is all about. It clearly demonstrates why nobody takes any notice of Senator Collins. To suggest that my colleagues Senator Panizza, Senator Crane and others who have taken part in this debate have no interest in the matter or are participating for political purposes is outrageous. There would be nobody in this parliament who would doubt the sincerity of Senator Panizza and Senator Crane on rural matters and matters of rural research.

  Senator Collins has little understanding of these things, but fortunately nobody takes any notice of what he says. One has only to look at his time as Leader of the Opposition in the Northern Territory to see what a dismal failure he was. I have to say that now we have found a Leader of the Opposition in the Northern Territory who has performed worse than Senator Collins. I did not think one could ever find anybody in that category. Nobody took any notice of Senator Collins on waterfront reform; he did not deliver on that. He did not deliver on pay TV. He did not deliver on Thomson Radar and so it goes on. Nobody takes any notice whatever of Senator Collins.

  I wish to put on record again, as I mentioned when taking a point of order, that the document tabled by Senator Collins and about which he made certain allegations has no standing with the coalition whatsoever. As Senator Collins has acknowledged, it is a stolen document. I wonder about the standing orders that allow ministers, without leave, simply to table bits of paper.

Senator Collins —Ministers don't need leave.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —I said without leave. I said that ministers table without leave bits of paper that are floating around to which they then attribute, quite incorrectly and falsely, a certain standing. For the record nobody takes any notice of Senator Collins, so it is really not necessary for me to say these things. For the record I again say that that document has absolutely no standing with the coalition.