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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 344


Senator IAN MACDONALD (11.31 a.m.) —I am absolutely flabbergasted by what Senator Coulter has said. An elected representative of the people of Australia, a member of this parliament, is suggesting that the government should ignore an agreement it has made and signed with the states and the local governments of Australia. Senator Coulter waves his arms and says that the highest level of government in the land should ignore an agreement it has made and do something different. I am absolutely flabbergasted that anyone who holds the responsible position as a representative in the parliament should ever suggest that.

  As Senator Faulkner has said, it is an agreement. Australia is a federal system. There are state governments. There is a federal government. This includes the agreement of the 900-odd local authorities around Australia as well. For that reason, it is obvious that this needs to be done. I also indicate that we, quite obviously, will be supporting it and taking into account the recommendations of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. When I was a member of that committee, we often made reference to these sorts of things. I am pleased to see that the government has included that clause in the bill as a matter of tidy drafting.