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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1379

Senator WALTERS(12.38) —The Minister has certain powers in this place, but he certainly does not have the power of gagging us on this side. He just does not have that power. So I will talk as long as I like.

Senator Gietzelt —I am not asking for that power. You have not even indicated whether you are supporting the amendment or not.

The CHAIRMAN —Order! Senator Walters has the floor.

Senator WALTERS —I will talk as long as I want to in this place. Senator Walsh on 18 February last year, in answer to Senator Sanders, said:

In respect of the Lemonthyme to which Senator Sanders has attributed wilderness value, I am advised this is not specifically a registered value . . .

It is not. The Minister said it very clearly. He said:

. . . this is not specifically a registered value for this area . . .

He said that it was a buffer zone for the area. He said further:

Senator Sanders will be aware that the Tasmanian Forestry Commission in 1983 published a management plan which took into account the then established values of the Lemonthyme, namely, that it is the view field of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

That is all. Senator Walsh says that it is not a world heritage area. The Minister is now saying that the memorandum has nothing to do with world heritage areas. He is completely at loggerheads with Senator Walsh. I do not doubt that the Government will now have a very hard time trying to bust up the memorandum in order to convey to the Tasmanian people that it is trying to be legitimate when all that is involved is a grab for votes following its 20 per cent drop in votes in the by-election in New South Wales.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Sanders's amendment) be left out.