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Mrs Carnell: We are talking about whales, which are really important.
MR BERRY: Stop this nonsense. This is about the world's community, generations after you, Mrs Carnell, who are going to be affected by the nuclear testing which is being conducted in the Pacific. That is a weak and gutless argument, like most of the arguments that you have put up in relation to this issue. How dare you even offer that as a defence! The facts of the matter are that the world is angered about this particular issue, but the Liberals cannot bring themselves to anger because the old corporate memory is still there. They were prepared to support this arrangement when the French were murdering people and invading other countries to do it, and they are prepared to support it now, even though the future of the world is at risk.
MR KAINE (11.04): Mr Speaker, let me say from the outset that I support the broad intent of the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. Regrettably, I cannot support all of it in its detail. I think that Mr Berry did a huge disservice to this debate when he turned it into a local political fight. He did not talk about the issues; he merely attacked the Liberal Party.
Mr Berry: It is about the Liberals, not the French.
MR KAINE: That is not the issue. The issue is how we, as a locally elected government, respond to an action, by a foreign government, that we disapprove of? Let me say that I do disapprove of it. Unlike most people in this room, with the possible exception of you, Mr Speaker, I have lived through the entire 50 years of the nuclear age. I was 18 when the first two atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I was well aware of the consequences of that event at the time. Frankly, I have lived in fear of a nuclear war for nearly 50 years of my life. I was relieved when the Cold War came to an end and the Soviet Union disintegrated and no longer presented the threat that it had done for decades.
So, it does not please me to see countries continuing to play around with nuclear weapons. First of all, I do not see the need for it and, secondly, we all know that it is harmful. France, regrettably, is not the only one that is doing it. The Chinese are still playing with them, and I even heard in the last 48 hours that the United States would like to test a few more as well. I do not support that either. So, the question is: What are we going to do about this potential threat to our environment and to the world environment? We could be quite draconian about this; but I have to ask the question: What good does it do to this community to cut ourselves off from the French people? We can take this short-term action - we can cut ourselves off from the French people - and then we can spend the next 20 or 30 years trying to re-establish a relationship that has been created with some difficulty and over a long period of time.
It is not a relationship with the French Government, but a relationship between Canberra's people and the people of Versailles in France. It was not developed on a government-to-government basis. In fact, even today, it has only government endorsement. What is the point in destroying that relationship? We can express, through the Federal Government and in other ways, our extreme displeasure with the French. The Federal Government can withdraw its ambassador. It is a pretty