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Thursday, 28 October 1993
Page: 2833

Senator McMULLAN (Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services) (10.17 p.m.) —I thank the Senate for its support of the legislation and for the comments which people have made. They contributed to the consideration of the issues relating to this matter. I did not agree with all the things that some of them said, but I think they are part of—

Senator Archer —That is the trouble.

Senator McMULLAN —I am entitled to disagree; it is still a democracy. Those comments were part of the cut and thrust of the development of issues around industrial development policy and export policy et cetera.

  Senator Spindler asked a specific question concerning the threshold. While the government is not persuaded that the threshold is too high—Senator Spindler will remember that there was a report that said it was too low—

Senator Archer —You make me worry.

Senator McMULLAN —I am pleased about that.

Senator Spindler —Which report was it?

Senator McMULLAN —The Hughes report. This legislation was set in response to that, so I am not saying that we are about to change it; I am simply saying that there was a report recommending a higher threshold. We adopted this as a compromise. I am advised that Austrade is reviewing it at the moment and that there will be an internal report to Austrade reasonably soon. As to what action flows from that, it will depend on the outcome of the review. I thank the Senate for its support of the bill.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.

  Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.