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Thursday, 24 June 2004
Page: 31611

Mrs CROSIO (10:16 PM) —I rise to speak to the second reading of this bill. I do so not having had the opportunity, as you would realise, Mr Speaker, to speak on the bill itself.

The SPEAKER —Member for Prospect, I need to clarify this.

Mrs CROSIO —I believe one only has to look at the interim report that was tabled today by the Senate committee to realise what the ramifications are going to be on this agreement going through in the way it is. I believe that even that inquiry has provided us with more unanswered questions. I do not believe the minister—and I came in to listen to him tonight—has given us enough answers. I also believe that the potential environmental impact has not really been fully canvassed. We talk about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. That has been repeatedly referred to by speakers on both sides of the House. I cannot, and will not, believe that the large US pharmaceutical companies have not continually looked at Australia as being the jewel in their crown.

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Prospect will resume her seat. I should point out to the member for Prospect that, as the Clerk has just reminded me, while I had allowed her to speak, in fact, it has been the tradition that the rising of the minister on the amendment—on the question that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question—effectively concludes the debate. She has been given more licence than is normally extended, but in fact there is no opportunity for her to speak on the second reading question. The question is that the bill be read a second time.

A division having been called and the bells having been rung—

The SPEAKER —As there are fewer than five members on the side for the noes, I declare the division resolved in the affirmative in accordance with standing order 204. The names of those members who are in the minority will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.

Question agreed to. Mr Andren, Mr Katter, Mr Organ and Mr Windsor voting no.

Bill read a second time.