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Thursday, 1 March 1984
Page: 247


Senator PETER RAE(5.12) —I support the remarks made by my colleague from Tasmania, Senator Archer, particularly in relation to the facilitation of the negotiation of agreements with foreign countries on the development and exploitation of our various marine resources where we do not have at the moment either the expertise or the equipment necessary for that. I have the feeling that whilst at times there have been officers who have gone out of their way to be helpful and to expedite matters as far as they could, there have been other instances in which there has seemed to be an enormous amount of bureaucratic inertia to be overcome before things got moving to the degree that they should have moved.

The fishing industry is an extremely important part of Australia's future. It is a very underdeveloped part of Australia's future. It is one which will require much goodwill on the part of all those involved to develop, using, as Senator Archer said, the information which can be gained for us by other nations under these agreements and made available to Australians who, I hope, will make a reality of the Australianisation of the exploitation of the 200-mile economic zone. That is not happening at present to the degree that one would have hoped. Obviously, one of the areas of activity will have to be the development of a system whereby, not only through opportunities such as the Australian Maritime College at Launceston but also through the opportunities presented by some of the bigger conglomerates that have now started operating in the fishing industry , there will be highly qualified people able to operate efficiently the much larger and much more expensive equipment which will be necessary for the full utilisation of the economic zone. We are starting to move. I support what has been said about the importance of continuing that movement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.