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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 348

Senator COULTER (12 noon) —I indicated during the committee stage that we would be voting against the third reading of the National Environment Protection Council Bill for the reasons which have already been outlined. We think it is a very weak bill. It is so weak that it is really not worth passing. Even though it does offer a crumb to the environment, we believe it may well fall over in the succeeding 12 months as a consequence of the amendment which has just been passed. For those reasons we believe it is far better to reject the bill at this stage rather than wait for that 12 months to lapse. We should attempt to go forward with much stronger legislation which should be cast by the federal government and which should not provide the veto power to the states which is inherent in this legislation. Therefore, we will vote against the third reading of the bill.