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Bartlett responds to Boswell challenge: actions speak louder than words.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Australian Democrats’ Senator for Queensland

18 October 2001 MEDIA RELEASE 01/639

Bartlett responds to Boswell challenge - actions speak louder than words Australian Democrats’ Senator for Queensland today said, “Senator Boswell’s own statement confirms that he didn’t have the courage to vote against national competition policy.”

Senator Bartlett was responding to claims by Senator Ron Boswell that his position on national competition policy had been misrepresented in an article in the Courier Mail (18.10.2001).

“I admit I was wrong in saying Senator Boswell voted for national competition policy. In fact he stayed silent during the vote and allowed the legislation to pass,” said Senator Bartlett.

“The Democrats are the only Parliamentary Party that voted against the national competition policy legislation. The National Party should be ashamed.

“Senator Boswell raised concerns at the time in regard to the national competition policy but he didn’t follow through and be counted - his actions certainly spoke louder than his words. His inaction on this issue was detrimental to rural and regional Queensland. This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been talking about.

“The Senate is a powerful democratic institution. A forum to effectively challenge, question and resolve issues of government and the community only works effectively when politicians are prepared to make a stand.

“The Australian Democrats have clearly been most active participants in the Senate, having been the main voice of genuine opposition in the Senate for over 24 years.

“When the vote was taken on national competition policy, Senator Boswell was nowhere to be seen,” concluded Senator Bartlett.

For further information contact: Senator Andrew Bartlett on 0418 743 789