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Friday, 1 September 1989
Page: 778


Senator SHORT(9.10) —by leave-I move:

That General Business Order of the Day No. 17 (Flags Amendment Bill 1987) be discharged from the Notice Paper.

Earlier this week my colleague Mr Fife introduced a Bill in the House of Representatives which is similar to the Flags Amendment Bill currently before the Senate. Mr Fife's Bill goes further than my Bill and takes account of developments which have occurred since my Bill was introduced in 1987. The Opposition proposes to pursue vigorously all avenues to have Mr Fife's Bill debated and passed in the House of Representatives. If the Government frustrates that course of action, as it has so often in the past when the Opposition has attempted to take steps to strengthen the preservation of our national symbols, we will introduce that Bill into the Senate and pursue its passage here. To avoid any confusion we think it desirable to remove my Bill from the Senate Notice Paper at this stage, but in so doing I want to make it absolutely clear that the Opposition is determined to do all in its power to ensure that no government will ever again be in a position of being able to alter the Australian Flag in any way without reference to this Parliament or to the Australian people.

Question resolved in the affirmative.