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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1268

Senator BJELKE-PETERSEN(9.35) —I support Senator Durack's Bill, the Flags Amendment Bill 1984, because I believe that any changes to the Australian national flag should be approved by referendum. I was certainly very pleased this evening to hear the Minister for Social Security, Senator Grimes, say that the Government intends to allow a referendum to be held before any thought is made of changing the flag. Most certainly I am glad to join with other members of the Opposition because we feel that there is a great concern in the community that the Flags Act of 1953 is not adequate to ensure the preservation of our Australian national flag. A referendum was taken and came out in the Queensland Courier-Mail which showed that 61 per cent of the people were in favour of the existing flag. We all agree that this is the flag under which many Australian soldiers fought and died.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! The time allotted under sessional order for the consideration of General Business has expired.