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Friday, 16 June 1989
Page: 4243

Senator SANDERS(11.48) —I move:

(1) Page 5, clause 14, line 5, paragraph (b), insert ``the Australian Heritage Commission,'' after ``of''.

I move this amendment for the reason, as I mentioned in my speech in the second reading debate, that the Australian Heritage Commission is concerned with the environment and should have an input into the system. While I am on my feet, I point out that some of the speakers in the second reading debate mentioned concern over the insulation of the Government from the public pressure in the Resource Assessment Commission Bill. This worried the Australian Democrats. I believe that the Government has a responsibility to make decisions itself. Often governments of whatever political stripe will send something to a commission or a committee to avoid making responsible decisions. This was a worry with this Commission, but I think on balance the public-and the mining industry for that matter-will still have input into the system.

I think the system can be made to work. It still requires a public scrutiny, but everything any government does requires the input of the people. The Australian Democrats and, I think, the environmental movement are willing to let the facts speak for themselves. We are not worried about what the minerals industry or the woodchipping industry can come up with in terms of information. We believe that when the facts are evaluated in a dispassionate light, justice will prevail. We are not afraid of that.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 15 agreed to.

Clause 16 (Reference of resource matter to Commission).