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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3218

Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(3.34) —The Government will not accept the amendment which is to be moved by the Australian Democrats. Both the Department of Territories and the National Parks and Wildlife Service do not favour the course of action suggested in Senator Vigor's amendment. We thank the Opposition for indicating that it will support the Ashmore and Cartier Island Acceptance Amendment Bill generally. The proposed amendment would be contrary to the spirit of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act and we do not believe, therefore, that it would meet the objectives that Senator Vigor has in mind. The National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act already extends to the Territory. This Act provides for the declaration of nature reserves in Australia, which also includes the Territories of Australia. The Ashmore reef area, which includes islands within the reef, was declared a national parks nature reserve in 1983 in recognition of its nature conservation significance. Therefore, any declaration of new areas as nature reserves should be effected using the provisions in the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act rather than by amending a piece of legislation such as the Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act as has been suggested. We commend the Bill for the support of the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.