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Wednesday, 5 September 1984
Page: 483

Senator PETER RAE —I seek leave of the Senate to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator PETER RAE —My personal explanation arises out of an answer given during Question Time by the Minister for Industry and Commerce (Senator Button). It relates to the Economic Planning Advisory Council. The honourable senator purported to quote what had been said by Mr Don Gibbons, the Executive Director of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia. The honourable senator gave the impression that Mr Gibbons was critical of the Liberal Party's industry and commerce policy. In fact, Mr Gibbons said that we would not support a policy that would not have a key advisory group and went back to a mad scramble for lobbying. In fact, the policy has a provision for consultative and advisory groups. Mr Gibbons has explained that his comments were taken somewhat out of context when he was given the impression by journalists who rang him that there was no provision for an advisory body in which small businesses could participate.

I wish to explain that there is no Liberal policy that would not provide for consultative groups. There certainly is a Liberal policy that there would be consultative groups in which small businesses would be involved. That means that the only person to criticise the proposal for the abolition of EPAC was Mr Coates, who was a member of EPAC.