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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3104


Mr GARLAND (Curtin) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) - It is clear in my mind that the honourable member for Adelaide (Mr Hurford) did not mention these consultations in his first speech in the way that he has mentioned them in his second speech. I listened to the opening remarks of the honourable member even though I was not in the chamber. However, Hansard will record that matter one way or the other. The honourable member really cannot expect me to take seriously the remark that the Opposition wanted these amendments accepted and that it has done all it can to achieve that end. These amendments were introduced into the Senate late last night and there was no opportunity to consider them. The honourable member contacted me only at 2.30 p.m. today when this Bill was expected to be debated at about 3.30 p.m. In other words, he gave me one hour within which to look at these amendments which he tells me now are very important.

Anybody on the Government side who has been concerned with these matters will know that that is just impractical. If I had been sent the amendments at 10 o'clock last night- surely they must have been drawn up by that time- there would have been greater evidence of good faith in relation to the matter. But that is not what happened. The amendments were brought in without notice and all the intervening time was wasted. It was said that I have a high and mighty attitude in this regard, but this Government has endeavoured to move amendments to meet representations made by the organisation concerned. Consultations took place on 9 May and continued until the following Monday. The Government was receptive to those consultations. The Labor Party, when in office, did no such thing. It gave not one hour, one week, one month, or one year of warning. The sorts of suggestions made were never taken seriously when honourable members opposite were on this side of the House.


Mr Hurford - Mr Chairman-







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