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Thursday, 11 May 1989
Page: 2288

Senator COOK (Minister for Resources)(1.49) —The Affirmative Action Equal Employment Opportunity for Women Amendment Bill 1989 proposes a minor change to the Act to require new tertiary institutions to report by 1 January and to recognise that, where amalgamations between tertiary institutions occur, the new body created out of the amalgamation is not to be regarded for the purposes of the Act as a new tertiary institution. As I have said, the amendments are minor. The Government and the Opposition are in accord, and there is no indication that the legislation will be defeated.

What we have heard from Senator Robert Hill, however, is a speech about the whole of the Act, a questioning of the performance indicators, the effects the Act has had and a number of issues of a general nature. Senator Robert Hill-perhaps after Mr Ian Macphee, a man who has recently had his name in the newspapers, having been dumped by the Liberal Party in Victoria, an event which, is unfortunate for the Liberal Party-is regarded as being one of the feminists of the Liberal Party.

Senator Hill —And Peter Baume.

Senator COOK —I acknowledge that we could include Senator Peter Baume in that category. Certainly they are both little `1' Liberals. It is not surprising, therefore, that Senator Hill should have a deep interest in a Bill of this nature. I regard the questions he has put as serious and deserving of an answer. I will refer them to the Minister responsible for this legislation, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Peter Morris. I am sure that he will, in due course, answer them. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

Sitting suspended from 1.53 to 2 p.m.