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Thursday, 31 August 1989
Page: 701

Senator COULTER(3.40) —I am also extremely concerned about what has happened, because as Senator Puplick has just pointed out, at the time this matter was being debated the issue of the importation of ivory into Australia was already recognised as a very important issue, certainly by many people in the environment movement. On the basis of Senator Button's reply to me on that occasion that ivory was not being imported, I did not pursue the matter then. Therefore, as Senator Puplick has just pointed out, a very significant opportunity to address this matter months earlier than the Government has addressed it has been lost. It is extremely distressing to find that the provision by a Minister of information which is so misleading has prevented a very important matter being correctly addressed and addressed at a time when effective action could have been taken much earlier.