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Thursday, 30 May 1996
Page: 1421

Senator CAMPBELL (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government)(12.53 p.m.) —On behalf of the government, I welcome the opposition's support for the Sydney 2000 Games (Indicia and Images) Protection Bill. I would like to say very briefly in concluding the second reading debate that the opposition's chronology of events leading to this legislation is slightly awry. This whole issue was brought to a head by my motion that this issue be referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, chaired very ably by Senator Chris Ellison.

The previous government had refused repeated attempts by the New South Wales government—then under the excellent premiership of John Fahey—SOCOG and the AOC to have such legislation giving property rights not only in relation to the symbols and motives of the Olympics but specifically for the words `Sydney 2000 Olympics' and a range of others associated with the organisation of the games. The coalition in opposition believed that, unless there was a serious public debate about this issue, the government would not act on this, as it had refused to do so for some two years since Sydney, New South Wales and Australia were successful in gaining the games.

So it was through an initiative of the opposition that this matter was referred to the Senate legal and constitutional committee. That committee did very good work, as Senator Schacht referred to. It brought all the issues into the public arena. Senator Vanstone, who is in the chamber, was a member of that committee. That committee made a unanimous report supporting what was at that stage the position of the coalition in opposition in relation to this piece of legislation.

We encouraged the government month after month to bring forward this legislation. As we all know, as the games become closer, the opportunities for ambush marketing—that is, people associating themselves with the games whilst not having a licence to do so—become more of a problem and more of a drain on the cash flow to the organising committee. We made it publicly known that we thought the former government was tardy in bringing forward this legislation on the second last day of last year's sittings. I only seek to put that chronology in order. We do welcome the support of the opposition. Since that Senate legal and constitutional committee brought down its report, there has been almost entire bipartisanship, as shown by the fact that the bill is listed today as being non-controversial.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.