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Canberra Times . . Page.. 794 ..

Mr Berry: You are absolutely weak.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition was heard in silence. I ask that the same courtesy be extended to the Chief Minister.

MRS CARNELL: Why do we not, as an Assembly, make sure that there is a list of French products in the Canberra Times tomorrow so that people in Canberra know what to boycott? Why do we not take a proactive stance that really can make a difference? So, let us proactively support the boycott. Let us make sure that every Canberran has access to a hard copy of the list of products that potentially can make a difference. Let every single one of us - the whole 17 - sign a letter to the Mayor of Versailles, to the President du Conseil General des Yvelines and to Chirac himself, telling them what we believe about this situation. If we do those things, we have the potential, not just to have five minutes on ACT television tonight, but to have an ongoing effect. The fact is that Chirac has said quite definitely that he is not interested in stopping this testing. The only way we can make a difference is to have his own people, his own voters - the people of Versailles and the people of Les Yvelines - lobbying him. Those are the people that we need to have lobbying Chirac, as well as having a whole Assembly, a whole Government, lobbying him and the people of Canberra not buying their products. We may then have some show of making a difference.

What is interesting about sister city agreements generally is that they are people-to-people agreements. The situation we have with Nara has been very successful for the people of Canberra. Certainly, I do not support the Japanese Government's view on whaling. So, will we get rid of that as well? Every time we have some capacity to understand the people of the world better on a people-to-people basis or every time there is some capacity to let our younger people understand the world we live in, are we going to throw it out for five minutes on television? Certainly, this Government will not be supporting that. We believe in a proactive stance. Let us make sure that this Assembly takes such a stance, and does not do something that finishes at 10 past 6 tonight.

MR BERRY (10.53): Mr Speaker, the corporate image is alive and well amongst the Liberals. The same insensitivity to the issue of nuclear testing exists now as existed when the Liberals first endorsed a move to this twinning arrangement, at a time when the photographer aboard the Rainbow Warrior was murdered by the French. We just heard Mrs Carnell use the same arguments as Mrs Thatcher used in the case to drop the sanctions against South Africa. Look at how effective that would have been. The world sanctions on South Africa worked; and here we have Mrs Carnell mouthing the same language as Mrs Thatcher used in the argument against those sanctions, which were rightly taken out by the world community and which resulted in freedom for the African people.

When we look at this issue, we see that it really comes down to a question of leadership. This is about the leader of the people's Government in the ACT having the courage to come out and tell other leaders in other governments that this community will not tolerate nuclear testing in our region. It is about a leader who will take a strong stand, not one who merely stands back and scolds and says, “Tut-tut, but we are going to do nothing”.

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