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Friday, 16 June 1989
Page: 4244

Senator LEWIS(11.51) —I move Opposition amendment No. 1:

(1) Page 5, after subclause 16 (1), insert the following new subclause:

``(1a) Before the Minister requires the Commission to conduct an inquiry under subsection (1), the Minister is to consult with the Government of each State or Territory that may be affected by the inquiry.''.

This is a very simple and clear amendment. It is obvious that, in the assessment of resources of this nation, the States play a sovereign role. The Constitution provides that the States shall have their responsibilities and obligations and their rights. The Resource Assessment Commission Bill ignores those rights and responsibilities. All we are saying to the Government in this amendment is that the Minister for Resources should consult. We are not saying that the Minister should obtain the agreement of the government but simply that he should consult with the government of each State or Territory that may be affected before requiring the Commission to conduct an inquiry. It is a simple amendment and I put it to the Senate that it should be accepted.