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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8083

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) (3:28 AM) —Could you please look this way, this time?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —I just called you, Senator Macdonald.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —Thank you; it is nice to be called some time. The government will be opposing Senator Allison's amendment for the reasons I have indicated previously. In relation to Senator O'Brien's comment: Mr Thomson cannot be that silly or that stupid that in one speech he says two different things. I cannot pick up the page or the quote that Senator O'Brien is referring me to but I can very easily see the quote that I have mentioned in relation to the previous amendment, the question on which I will shortly be calling on Temporary Chairman Bolkus to put again, seeing he declared it before he called all speakers—but we will deal with that after this. The passage is so very clear there: Mr Thomson says that this is a matter that should be subject to this review. I do not accept that Mr Thomson is that stupid, that base or that unintelligent that he could clearly say two different things in one speech.

It is absolutely amazing to me that the Labor Party has a shadow minister who, four days ago, said one thing and somewhere along the line he has gotten rolled. I do not know. Is he from the left? Obviously the left of the party has done a palace coup. If the amendment is agreed to we will be left with an act whereby the whole system starts to crumble away. That is not what you want but that is what will happen. It is easy for me to say, `It is early in the morning, let us do it and you will be proved wrong.' But I do not want you to be proved wrong because then the greenhouse energy approach of all the senators goes crumbling away.

Senator Brown —Tell us again what Mr Thomson said.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Bolkus)—Senator Macdonald, do not be tempted by Senator Brown at this time of the morning.