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Tuesday, 20 May 1980
Page: 2890

Mr Donald Cameron (FADDEN, QUEENSLAND) -With Oxford by my side, I direct a definite question without notice to the Minister for Science and the Environment. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the very recent decision of the much admired Thatcher Government to abandon, after 1 1 years, conversion from the imperial system to the metric system? Is the Minister aware that the United Kindom's consideration of going metric commenced a century ago and it took but 1 1 years, following the creation of the Metrication Board, to recognise that it would not work? In view of the ancestral background of the majority of Australians and the continuing opposition in Australia to metrication, what makes the Minister think that he can succeed where the United Kingdom Government has failed? Finally -

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will have to put his question in order. He is entitled to ask for information.

Mr Donald Cameron (FADDEN, QUEENSLAND) - What has the Minister in mind that will help Australia convert to the metric system? Finally, will he agree to both systems being allowed to work side by side without standing over, threatening or treating as criminals -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman is not entitled to use that pejorative language. I call the Minister for Science and the Environment to answer the early part of the question.

Mr THOMSON -My information is that the United Kingdom Government has not abandoned metrication. The Minister concerned recently announced in the House of Commons that metrication in the United Kingdom was almost complete and that the remaining parts of metrication would be handled by her Department. The Australian position is quite clear; that is, that our metrication process is almost complete. Some time next year the Metric Conversion Board will have completed its work and the matter will come under the responsibility of my Department.

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