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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 338

Senator IAN MACDONALD (11.02 a.m.) —I indicate that the opposition will not be supporting the Australian Democrats' amendment to the preamble or the consequent amendments. To save me getting on my feet again, I also indicate that we will not be supporting the Greens' circulated amendment to the preamble.

  I also mention, for anyone who might have taken any notice of Senator Sherry's quite ridiculous contribution to the debate last night, when he suggested that we were opposing the two-thirds majority aspect of the bill, that, as I said in my major speech and as all of my colleagues except Senator Crane, who did not even mention the matter, said, one of the reasons why we are supporting this legislation is that it requires a two-thirds majority in the council to ratify any decision. That would give the states the majority interest in any of the decisions. That was specifically one of the reasons why we are supporting the bill.

  It is unfortunate that the government mismanages its business in the way it does. Senator Sherry came in, obviously had no interest in the debate, had no idea about what was happening and had little knowledge of what the matter was about. I understand that those sorts of things happen, but I do not know why he had to then get up and pretend that he knew something about it and pretend to make some sensible comments, when they were just plain ridiculous. Then Senator Bolkus started on the bill, and Senator Sherry assured us that Senator Bolkus would give us a very erudite analysis of the matter when we were in the committee stage.

Senator Faulkner —I understand that he did.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —I appreciate Senator Faulkner has been overseas at the Commonwealth Games and has only just returned. All I say to people like Senator Sherry is that, if they do not understand what we are talking about, they should do their business routinely and should not try to pretend they know about something that they really know nothing about.