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Statement on the Preamble.



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Media Release

Senator Meg Lees

Australian Democrats

Parliamentary Leader

 

August 11, 1999

99/163

 

Statement on the Preamble

 

I am delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with the Prime Minister on a preamble.

 

This agreement will allow th e Australian Democrats to support a referendum question on a preamble.

 

It was extremely important for us to embrace and celebrate all people within the Australian community.

 

It was equally important to identify and celebrate those values and aspirations which identify us a nation.

 

To this end I am delighted that we have been able to acknowledge the first Australians in such a positive way in this preamble. I believe this is a significant step towards reconciliation.

 

I am also delighted that the Prime Minister has agreed that a reference to our unique environment is to be included.

 

I would like to pay tribute to the Prime Minister for the manner in which he conducted the negotiations. His willingness to explore the issues and to seek common ground has resulted in a preamble of which, I believe, all Australians can be justifiably proud.

 

I also would like to pay tribute to my colleague Senator Ridgeway who - in his first week with us in parliament - has demonstrated qualities which augur well for his future.

 

I would also like to think that, if the Government and the Australian Democrats can reach common ground on this issue, this preamble could reasonably be expected to be supported by a majority of Australians.

 

However, only time will tell. We need it to be supported by a majority of Australians in a majority of states.

 

 

Contact:

John Schumann on 0419 867 876; (08)829 58911; (02)6277 3991

Australian Democrats web site: http://www.democrats.org.au

 

 

md 1999-08-12  10:33