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Wednesday, 26 June 1996
Page: 2239


Senator COOK —My question is to the Assistant Treasurer. Senator Short, can you explain how it is that the single amendment to the Development Allowance Authority Bill which was made by the Senate on Monday this week has, as you put it yesterday, `sabotaged' $2.5 billion worth of investment in this nation? Can you explain how it is that an amendment which removes the eligibility for urban roads from infrastructure borrowing has sabotaged 18 projects in mining and about 40 projects in total? Senator Short, why did you mislead the Senate yet again?


Senator SHORT —The reason why the government said yesterday, through me, that the rogue actions of Senator Kernot, for the Democrats, and the opposition have put at risk those projects is that the passage of the amendment on roads that you proposed has put at risk the passage of the bill as a whole and the government has the gravest concerns at the damage that you have done to the bill through the amendment.


Senator COOK —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Let me try this again. I think you may have answered this.


Senator Hill —Then don't bother asking it again.


Senator COOK —No, let us be precise on this point because this is a serious matter: will you now unequivocally stand by the assertions you made in the Senate yesterday in answer to Senator Kernot's question? Do you stand by those assertions or don't you?


Senator SHORT —I stand by the assertion I made yesterday that the rogue action by the opposition and the Democrats on the Development Allowance Authority Amendment Bill on Monday has placed at grave risk—


Senator Cook —That is not what you said.


Senator SHORT —Well, it has effectively run the risk of sabotaging 18 projects in the mining industry, 10 in the tourism industry, six in electricity, gas and water, four in manufacturing—and, as I said the other day, you threw in another three in transport and storage for good management. Of course I stand by what I said. The actions that you have taken have put at grave risk $2.5 billion worth of investment.