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Monday, 5 June 1989
Page: 3372


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade)(10.13) —Australia Post has no more conspiratorial an objective than to realise efficiency gains, and to do that it has to make maximum use of its assets. The Bill provides for Australia Post to perform incidental functions to give it every opportunity possible to do just that. It does not mean that the Government expects, or Australia Post will be able, to get out of postal business in favour of something more lucrative just for the sheer heck of it.

The simple answer to Senator Alston's amendment is that it is redundant. As I said in the context of the Australian Telecommunications Corporation Bill, subclause 16 (2) contains the prefatory language without limiting subclause (1). Subclause (1) is the language which makes it absolutely clear that any such business activity here referred to has to be business or activity that is incidental to the supplying of postal services or the carrying on of an activity or business which is itself related to postal services. All the clauses are intertwined, interconnected, in this way, as Senator Alston should appreciate from his earlier barristerial incarnations. There is simply no need for the rhetorical overkill that is involved in his supplementary amendment before us.