None . . Page.. 1554 ..
The second part of the motion, if it had been properly worded, I perhaps could have supported. I cannot support it, because it is so wide ranging. Mr De Domenico made the point that much of what we import from France or from French companies, however defined, has to do with the saving and preservation of life - pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. I am not about to ban the purchase of that kind of equipment that we need in our hospitals. I do not believe that Mr Berry intended that, but he did not think his motion through. He just stuck down a few words to try to put the heat on the Government. Mr Berry even opts out himself - I use the word advisedly - in the last few words, “which allow the Government to opt out”. He knows that we cannot opt out of his Government's contract for Renault-based buses without considerable penalty. He has got himself off the hook. He can no longer be subject to criticism because his Government ordered Renault buses. He has opted out by putting in a few neat little words that let him off the hook on the one major contract that the Labor Government entered into for the delivery of French goods.
It is clearly a motion, Mr Speaker, that is not needed. We have already expressed quite strongly how we feel about this issue. I do not think we need to do it again; but, if we do need to do it again, let us have a motion that does that. If we must have a motion that says what the Government can and cannot buy, then let us have one that is capable of being implemented. I submit that this one is not. The minute you try to implement this, you are going to run up against all kinds of exceptions where you cannot refuse to buy or you cannot cancel a contract, for the reasons that Mr Berry envisaged when he put these weasel words on the end of his motion. The motion is a nonsense motion. If put into effect, it will put the Government to a great deal of trouble and effort and waste of resources for no good effect. I submit that it is a motion that is incapable of being implemented anyway. I will not support the motion.
MR BERRY (12.23): Mr Speaker, the Labor Opposition will not be agreeing to the amendments. This motion has been brought forward on the basis of community action. I think this is an important feature of the debate occurring in this place at this time. We will thunder against the Chinese, because what they are doing in their own backyard is terrible and something that we strenuously oppose. But, as part of the debate that is going on in relation to the French, I think we have to keep the pressure on the French. What they are doing in a colony that they have established in the Southern Hemisphere is something which the community in the ACT have risen against.
Mr Hird: You do not deal with the Chinese, Wayne.
MR BERRY: I think that what the Chinese are doing is outrageous, but I am saying that there is a strong campaign against the French at this point. They are bombing a colony which they have established in the South Pacific. It is quite different to what the Chinese are doing. It is quite different in the sense that there is not a community uprising about the Chinese. I believe that there will be, and I will be right behind it and so will the Labor Party. I think it is outrageous. We will be opposing the amendments.