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Logging decision strong reason for rejecting referendum

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PETER REITH, M P [ Shadow Attorney-General Chairman, Coalition Referendum Task Force


parliamentary library J-------------Λ

C. I . s.

Australia has a strong Constitution. Why weaken it?


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Vote 'No'

5 August 1988


The Federal Cabinet's decision on the Lemonthyme and Southern forests is "an indication of the Hawke Government's contempt for States' rights and for the Tasmanian people", according to Shadow Attorney-General Peter Reith.

"This decision, imposed from Canberra with scant regard for the interests and needs of Tasmanians, demonstrates the dangers in handing over more power to the Federal Government as proposed by the referendum.

"The Hawke Government continues to ride roughshod over the Tasmanian people.

"This decision will shut down industries and increase unemployment.

"The Hawke Government ignored the Tasmanian Government, ignored local governments and the many Tasmanians who strongly opposed this measure.

"Once again Tasmania has been sold down the drain to win a few votes from greenies in Sydney and Melbourne.

"Decisions like this make an utter mockery of our Federal system, which was designed to carefully protect the interests of the States against hostile central governments.

"In the same way the referendum will undermine the Federal system by weakening the Senate and giving Canberra new powers to intrude into State matters such as electoral laws and local government - not to mention State grants to independent and religious schools.

"Everybody knows the Hawke Government is hell-bent on destroying the Senate's capacity to effectively stand up for people in the smaller States. ■

"The referendum would reduce the Senate from an effective watchdog to a limp and toothless lap dog.

"I think Tasmanians should vote NO to the referendum and tell Mr Hawke they are fed up with Canberra making decisions that our bad for Tasmania and its people."

FURTHER INFORMATION : Peter Reith (062) 774028 or 774029