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Thursday, 1 June 1989
Page: 3197

Senator COOK (Minister for Resources)(11.46) —I have to say that Senator Macklin's question has all the hallmarks of the beginning of a filibuster. He knows, I know and this chamber knows that it has nothing to do with the Wheat Marketing Bill. The Bill before the chamber is about the domestic market, and about deregulation of the domestic market. That is round about 10 per cent to 12 per cent, which is a very small proportion, of the total output by grain growers in Australia. Despite this effort of Senator Macklin's to engender fear and anxiety in the minds of growers, we are not moving to deregulate the international market. Senator Macklin and I both know that. I wonder then why Senator Macklin raised this matter.

Much of what Senator Macklin has said is reminiscent of someone who has been on a trip once, met a few people, come back and is then an expert. We are not denuding our Washington Embassy of talent; we are maintaining a high level of representation. As we all know and as is recognised internationally, Australia, as the leader of the Cairns group of free trading nations, is the foremost nation in the world seeking to break down cartels, protected markets and so on. We are persisting in that; we are recognised for that; we get criticised because of that performance by the United States, by countries in Europe and by other groups within those countries. There is no argument about that. Madam Temporary Chairman, I suggest that the question be put.