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Tuesday, 3 December 1985
Page: 2760

Senator PETER BAUME(11.43) —I wish to respond to Senator Macklin's remarks. The Minister for Community Services (Senator Grimes) has said on several occasions that he can count. I can also count and since the Democrats will support the Government on this matter, I understand how it will be resolved. With respect to Senator Macklin, he did not really address the issue of the Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) which is before us. He is not alone in admiring the work of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. He may be surprised to hear this, but he is not alone in having visited CSL. I think most of the speakers on our side of this debate have visited CSL, not once, but on a number of occasions. We share his admiration for the work that CSL has done in the national interest and which it continues to do. We are as one on that matter. We have admiration for Dr Neville McCarthy and for the people who are prominent with CSL. That is not the issue. Senator Macklin went on to talk about the need for CSL to extend its functions. There is no argument about that. CSL can do so under its present statute and, indeed, has done so. The issue is whether the statute should be extended, and the only argument that is relevant is that which is directed to why the statute should be extended and what extra benefits will be conferred. Senator Grimes addressed that matter. We happen to disagree with him. I accept the way that Senator Macklin and his colleagues intend to vote, but the argument he put up covered a number of matters which were not in contention.

Clauses agreed to.

Clauses 12 to 56-by leave-taken together.