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Wednesday, 21 August 1985
Page: 59


Senator MacGIBBON(10.46) -I would like to speak to the motion before the Chair. Primary exports are vitally important to this country and the live sheep export trade is very much part and parcel of our export business. It is an important export income earner.


Senator Childs —On a point of order: I think Senator MacGibbon is dealing with the argument itself and not the question of the suspension of Standing Orders.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —That is always a tricky point when Standing Orders are to be suspended. Senator MacGibbon is aware of this. However, he must watch this and must not debate too much the merits of the particular case, just the arguments for the suspension of Standing Orders.


Senator MacGIBBON —I am well aware of that and I am sorry that the good senator was not listening carefully to what I said. It is a matter that not only involves Australia; it also involves countries like Saudi Arabia, which has spent $30m on providing shipping for this trade. I was driving around Brisbane the day this report was presented. I heard Senator Georges on the radio, and I take great care to say that I am not certain that Senator Georges said this, but the inference of the radio broadcast was first of all that the recommendation of the Select Committee on Animal Welfare was that the live export of sheep be stopped immediately and secondly that the report of the Committee was unanimous. I do not believe that both of those findings are a true and accurate reflection of the Committee report. Because of the confusion in the community as a result of the broadcast involving Senator Georges, I believe this matter should be resolved clearly and unambigously as soon as possible.