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Thursday, 22 August 1985
Page: 188


Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(4.04) —I move:

That so much of Standing Order 64 be suspended as would prevent Senator Chipp moving an amendment to the proposed urgency motion.

I am moving for the suspension of standing order 64 because the matter we are debating begs the reality that under successive Liberal Party of Australia regimes, the Liberal Party's pathetic attitude has allowed the super-powers to persist with the existing Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, a treaty so full of loopholes that it has permitted 50,000 nuclear weapons to be constructed and will complacently accept an additional 20,000 bombs within the next decade. This has been promised by both the Russians and the Americans. Therefore, if this motion is carried, I shall move:

Leave out all words after ``achieve'', insert:

`(a) compliance with Article VI of the Treaty which requires nuclear weapon states to make, through treaties, genuine progress in arms control, by proposing or supporting a timetable or programme for super power arms reductions;

(b) a vigorous effort to attract non-member nations to become signatories to the Treaty;

(c) the establishment of the Energy for Development Fund to research and promote alternative energy sources; and

(d) a positive commitment by all and specifically the nuclear weapon States, to meaningful multi- lateral disarmament and surveillance through the immediate conclusion of a C.T.B. Treaty,

and the need for Australia, to this end, to sponsor a non-government representative to the Conference and hold meetings with interested groups after the Review to discuss the achievement of the Conference.'

The reason why Standing Orders should be suspended is that the motion we are debating does not come to terms with any of the substantial issues which Australia should be presenting at Geneva. The matter of urgency raised by the Liberal Party is just too crazy because, although different words are used, it is precisely a restatement of the now infamous Australian Labor Party policy on disarmament. There is no mention in Senator Hill's matter of urgency of making the super-powers comply with Article VI. There is no mention of the problem of Article VI and its advocacy of nuclear energy, or of the enormous problems of nuclear waste disposal.

Standing Orders need to be suspended to allow an amendment to the motion because the matters we are debating and will vote on advocate a path which is in the interests of neither Australia nor the world. It is one of the worst and most blatant motherhood motions ever put in this chamber.


Senator MacGibbon —You are as wrong on this as you were on Agent Orange.


Senator CHIPP —I am comforted no end by the knowledge that Senator MacGibbon opposes me. It totally persuades me that I am right. The matter as it now stands simply ignores the vital issues such as the Energy Development Fund and amendments to the Treaty, which will lapse in 1995 unless some progress is made. It is as if these issues were irrelevant. Australia will have to take some blame for acting negligently if the Treaty collapses and as a nation we have done nothing.

Standing order 64 should be suspended to allow amendments to be made to the matter of urgency because it ignores the proposals which other nations-for example, Sweden and Japan-will be presenting to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in Geneva for real progress in disarmament and arms control, such as presenting a timetable for nuclear disarmament. It even ignores the proposal to separate the promotion and safeguarding function of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Standing Orders should be suspended because ultimately it is irresponsible to advocate in all seriousness the path for an Australian government which is suggested in Senator Hill's motion.


Senator Chaney —Mr Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. I think Senator Chipp is straying into the realms of dealing with the issues in the motion. He has quite adequately explained that he wants to suspend Standing Orders so that he can put his motion instead of the Opposition's. I think you should direct him to address his remarks only to the suspension of Standing Orders, which I think he has already done adequately.


Senator CHIPP —May I speak to the point of order, Mr Acting Deputy President?


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Jessop) —Yes, Senator Chipp.


Senator Chipp —I am conscious of Standing Orders, as is Senator Chaney. I point out that during the four minutes I have spoken, six times I have explicitly said the words `the reason why Standing Orders should be suspended'. I submit that I am within the Standing Orders.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I think I have heard enough debate on this subject. Senator Chaney has a point. I would like you to stick more closely to the suspension of standing order 64.


Senator CHIPP —Thank you for your generosity, Mr Acting Deputy President. Standing order 64 should be suspended so that a vote can be taken on the substantial issues. I understand that the suspension of Standing Orders will be opposed by both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party. No other conclusion can be drawn from the fact that we will not be debating compliance with Article VI, we will not be debating the establishment of an Energy for Development Fund and we will not be debating a positive commitment by all, and specifically the nuclear weapon states, to meaningful multilateral disarmament. We will not be debating the need for Australia to sponsor a non-government representative to the conference and to hold meetings with interested groups after the review to discuss the achievement of the conference.