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South African referendum

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ALEXANDER DOWNER Member fo r Mayo, Shadow M inister fo r Trade & Trade Negotiations


The decision by the Federal Government to maintain trade and other economic sanctions against South Africa despite the - positive outcome of Tuesday's referendum and the unequivocal commitment of the majority of white South Africans to reform

is churlish, mean-minded and blatantly political.

The Federal Government should move immediately to lift economic sanctions against South Africa now that the process of reform has been set in concrete.

The Government should also allow Austrade to establish a presence in South Africa and encourage an Australian trade mission to visit that country.

The Australian Government should demonstrate to white South Africans that adopting policies of reform brings with it rewards from the outside world. Put another way, Australia should make it clear to the far right in South Africa that a

step backwards would have been a step into international obiivion.

Instead of adopting this common sense policy, the Government is waiting for its instructions from one political party within South Africa, the ANC.

Australian economic policy towards South Africa should be determined by Australians with a clear vision of Australia's broad national interest, not by political parties in other countries.

Kowtowing to the ANC seems to sit rather uncomfortably with Mr Keating's sudden interest in so-called Australian

"independence". But there again, sincerity has never stood in the way of a Paul Keating pronouncement.

18 March 1992 COMMONWEALTH


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