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Friday, 28 June 1996
Page: 2537

Senator KERNOT (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(10.19 a.m.) —Madam Temporary Chairman—

Senator Parer interjecting

Senator KERNOT —Excuse me, I have a right to speak if I wish. Would you please record that I was told by Senator Parer to sit down.

Senator Schacht —Another triumph for tactics from the Liberal Party.

Senator KERNOT —Yes. They are wonderful tactics. I was asked a question by your minister to which I intend to respond. Senator Parer may not have heard that I was asked a question by his minister. He asked me why I single out roads. The answer is that I do not single out roads; I take it on a case by case basis. I am quite astonished that you are approving the concession for a coal-fired private power station at a time when we are all arguing about greenhouse targets and alternative energy. That needs to be considered.

The minister's adviser can laugh all he likes. It happens to be my view that it is inappropriate. The second thing that is relevant is that the developmental allowance was closed off on 31 December 1992. It is part of the One Nation statement. It had a function and it has achieved that function. We agreed that it achieved the function of kick-starting private investment and infrastructure. There is a role for that. It was needed at that stage of the economic cycle. It has achieved it. You are extending it.

Why we are now quibbling, in your words, over these other developments is a little irrelevant. It is all closed off. We have had that public policy debate. Finally, you said that the Labor Party changed its policy. I say, `Thank goodness for that. They were wrong. They have learnt.' We opposed it when they supported this concession to City Link. They have learnt from their mistake. It is a great pity that you are reinstating what is bad policy.