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Tuesday, 3 December 1985
Page: 2757

Senator PETER BAUME(11.26) —The Opposition will oppose clauses 10 and 11, which enable extra functions to be taken up by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Commission. The arguments were rehearsed last night and this morning. I do not desire to go through all the arguments again. Honourable senators may be aware that in 1974 the then Labor Minister for Health, Dr Everingham, said:

It is Australian Labor Party policy to enter the field of prescription drug manufacture and, indeed, to widen the charter of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories.

Those were the explicit words in 1974 of the Labor Minister for Health, and indeed that is what is being done in this legislation now. The Opposition believes that the CSL under its present powers has been able to enter into the arrangement which existed for some years with Fawnmac. It has already been able to take that course. In the last year or so it has been able to make a bid for another privately owned pharmaceutical company, David Bull Laboratories Pty Ltd. It has adequate powers to carry out the extra functions it needs. It does not require the extra functions or powers. Because we are not convinced that a case has been made out, the Opposition will oppose these two clauses.