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Wednesday, 5 May 1993
Page: 146


Senator McKIERNAN (3.14 p.m.) —I want to pick up Senator Crane's concluding words about achieving a proper balance between employment and the protection of the environment. On the same day as the announcement of the sacking of Mr Carbon in Western Australia, the State Government announced that it was going to explore for oil on the Ningaloo Reef—an area that is very precious to the citizens of Western Australia, Australia and the world. While it is not an immediate rival in size to the Great Barrier Reef, which runs around the eastern seaboard of Australia, it is certainly something that we are very keen to protect.

  It is fortunate that Senator Crane drew attention to the link between the protection of the environment and employment. During that dreadful week, the Western Australian State Government not only cut Barry Carbon's throat but also slashed over 1,000 jobs at the Midland railroad workshops, which is another clear breach of an election promise made by the Court Government.

  It hid for five weeks while the Federal election was held, but it has come out of the woodwork since then. In today's West Australian we see the announcement of hundreds of Western Australian jobs being lost at an abattoir. I doubt whether that is something that my rural colleagues on the Opposition benches would agree with.