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Friday, 29 November 1985
Page: 2586


Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(11.41) —I thank honourable senators for their contributions to the debate on this package of sales tax Bills. The debate has varied in quality between the sublime and the ridiculous. We have just finished with the more ridiculous part from Senator Boswell. Senator Boswell says that he does not understand this Government. I am not surprised about that at all; he does not understand anything. He did make a speech about Senator Michael Baume and congratulated him on his contribution, which was largely devoted to a lot of huff and puff about the Government introducing the sales tax measures on the date of announcement, prior to the enactment of legislation. That comment, which has been taken up by other speakers, is made out of either mock outrage or ignorance, I am not sure which. It has been the practice of all governments to introduce new sales taxes on the date of announcement. I point out to Senator Boswell that, as a matter of fact, the legislation was introduced into the House of Representatives on 19 September, the day of announcement. I only mention that because the honourable senator's speech, if I might say so, was riddled with factual errors and that point goes to the heart of this debate on the basis of the contributions that have been made by Opposition senators.

Senator Siddons made a thoughtful contribution to the discussion. He pointed out things that he has pointed out in this Parliament on a number of occasions in respect of which the Australian Democrats sought concessions, as is their right to do and as is the right of Opposition senators to do if they had so wanted. I thank all honourable senators for their contributions. We will move to the Committee stage shortly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bills read a second time.