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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2924

Senator MACKLIN(3.16) —The Australian Democrats will not be supporting the amendments moved by Senator Durack, as I indicated in my remarks in the second reading debate. While we feel that the views of the Cocos Island people need to be ascertained with a view at a later stage to incorporating them into the most appropriate electorate in Australia in accordance with those views , at this time we feel that it is necessary to have them incorporated somewhere. This in no way solidifies the situation and at a later stage it will always be possible to move them if the Government takes up the views expressed by the Senate in the vote at the second reading stage and consults with the people in detail. We will not support the Opposition's amendment. The Cocos Island people will by this Bill be given the right to vote somewhere in Australia. As to the next move, we believe the ball is back in the Government's court to ascertain the Islanders' views as to the most appropriate electorate for them. If that can be done prior to the next election, all well and good. If it cannot be done, the people of the Cocos Islands will still have the right to vote.