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Thursday, 21 March 1985
Page: 667

Mr KENT —Mr Speaker, I address my question to you. Has your attention been drawn to the fact that the cutlery in use by the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms was imported from Korea? Will you ensure that all future acquisitions of material and equipment used in the Australian Parliament are made in Australia, thus giving example to the people to support our own Australian industry?

Honourable members interjecting-

Mr SPEAKER —I am surprised at times that defenders of the Westminster system show themselves so incapable of behaving in a manner befitting that system. Over a period of 16 years I have had opportunity to examine the cutlery in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. I can assure the honourable member that the source of that cutlery is a number of areas. A general principle applies to all parliamentary departments; that is, Australian made goods should be bought where possible. There are difficulties in this area. I advise the House that, with regard to the small-wares for the new Parliament House, an officer of the Joint House Department is examining this question. I understand that there are difficulties with Australian made cutlery, that blanks are imported from other countries, plated in Australia and stamped in Australia. However, the principle applied is that Australian made goods should be used.