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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3398

Senator PARER(5.07) —I want to speak very briefly supporting the dissenting report by Senator Townley. It never ceases to amaze me that people want to interfere in areas where they really have no right. This is purely a State matter; it is a matter for the Government of Queensland. It is a matter for the companies involved there. Untrue statements have been made suggesting that Queensland would not act responsibly in this regard. This is not proved by history. Australia has a worrying balance of payments problem. Yet people suggest that mining companies should not be operating in the area and if the Queensland Government will not stop them the Federal Government should use its powers to do so.

Senator Walsh —Basically they want to close down every industry they can close down.

Senator PARER —I am sorry, I did not hear Senator Walsh. I would have liked to reply to him.

Senator Walsh —You would not object to what I said.

Senator PARER —Then I agree. I comment only briefly to state that interference is one of Australia's problems today. I suspect that a degree of politics is involved because the proposal is in Queensland, and I find that disturbing. I know the area; I have been there. It is a massive area. Senator Vigor has the habit of wanting to stop any development in the name of whatever environmental reason he can dream up. Other Australians realise that this is a nonsense and hence would support Senator Townley.

Question resolved in the affirmative.