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Friday, 13 September 1985
Page: 532

Senator KILGARIFF —I address my question to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, who is also the Leader of the House in the other place. I ask: What has happened to the progress of the Bill introduced in the Senate by Senator Peter Durack and titled the Flags Amendment Bill 1984 [1985], which ensures that any changes to the Australian flag must be approved by the people of Australia through referendum and which was passed by the Senate on 28 February this year? As more than six months has passed since then and there has been no sign of this Bill, is it the Government's intention not to process it and so not allow the Australian community to have a say in the matter? If the Government does intend to process the Bill, when will this take place?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I have no brief on this matter, but it is my understanding that the Bill has died a well deserved death in the other House.

Senator Durack —Why did you not oppose it here?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I simply make the point that, as the Prime Minister has said on numerous occasions, the Government has no proposal before it to change the design of the national flag, so the neurosis demonstrated by Senator Kilgariff, Senator Walters and so many on the other side has no foundation in fact.