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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2253

Senator HERRON (11.41 a.m.) —I am surprised at what Senator Woodley has just said. He has said that a major announcement or a major statement—they were the two words that I noted he used—constitute the law. That is the effect of what he said. What Senator Woodley is saying is that the executive therefore dominates parliament; the executive makes a decision and therefore that becomes law. That is the logic of what he has said; he cannot run away from it. We cannot say that a statement or an announcement is the law, but that is what he has done, in effect. He has denigrated the importance of the Senate, and that is why I rise now.

  It seems completely paradoxical to me that Senator Woodley of all people, representing the Democrats, should come into this chamber and say, `We are unimportant. We do not exist because a government has made'—in his words—`a major announcement or a statement.' I cannot see how he can reconcile that.

  Senator Harradine put it very concisely that it does not become law until it is passed by the parliament. It has not been passed by the upper chamber of the parliament, so it is not law. Yet Senator Woodley is saying that a major statement or a major announcement constitutes the law. He cannot resile from that. He cannot, on the one hand, go out and proclaim the virtues of independence and yet, on the other hand, accept a fiat of the executive. How does Senator Woodley reconcile that? He cannot.