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Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Page: 6079

Senator STEPHENS (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector and Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion) (12:01 PM) —I table an addendum and a correction to the explanatory memorandum relating to the Uranium Royalty (Northern Territory) Bill 2008.

I thank all the senators who have spoken, for their contributions to the debate. As is so often the case in this place, the quality of the contributions varies greatly.

Senator Ian Macdonald —You haven’t answered my question as to what the Labor Party policy is. Come on!

Senator STEPHENS —I thank Senator Eggleston for his contribution, because I think it does begin the conversation again. People want to have this conversation and I think that it is helpful that a reasoned argument like that is on the public record to enable that to happen.

To Senator Macdonald, I say that Labor’s policy is very clear. All he has to do is refer to the party platform. Labor supports uranium mining with the world’s best practice environmental safeguards in place. It is very clear. If you go to the ALP website you will find it in the national platform, Senator Macdonald.

This bill is directed at applying a royalty regime to all new mining projects in the Northern Territory containing uranium and other designated substances such as thorium—an issue that I know is of interest, particularly to Senator Heffernan—and that is consistent with the royalty regime that applies to other minerals mined in the Northern Territory. Therefore I commend the bill to the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Marshall)—The question is that the second reading amendment moved by Senator Ludlam be agreed to.

Question negatived.

Original question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.