Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2892 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I must also emphasise that it was not a delegation that was just about business. I know that the Chief Minister has touched on this, but I think it is worth emphasising. It was not just about business, although that was its prime purpose. It was also about social and cultural aspects. Certainly, when we were at meetings about schools and the wine fair, a full range of other issues came up. Social, cultural and sporting contacts create more interest in the Australian Capital Territory among the people of Japan and enhance our interest in Japan as well.
The issue of a peace park came up in general discussions. One of the options that members of the delegation talked about, although obviously it would have to go through an appropriate process, was incorporating a peace park into the development of Kingston foreshore. It came through to me in discussions with students at schools that they are very conscious of Australia's anti-nuclear stance and the stance taken by the Australian Capital Territory on its sister city relationship with Versailles. They were very conscious of the whole notion of sister city relationships.
Mr Speaker, I think that the delegation was indeed a success. I was delighted to be a member of it. I would hope that the next time a Chief Minister leads a delegation from this place it does what parliamentary delegations all over the world do and includes members of the Government, members of the Opposition and, where appropriate, crossbench members. That is the system that applies internationally, Mr Speaker. We know that from the delegations that come through Canberra. We know that from the delegation from Nara that was here a few weeks ago and that you met, Mr Speaker. This is the way these delegations are usually made up. The bickering that the Liberals started should now pass. We should be mature enough to take part in delegations in a way that provides a critical analysis of what is achieved - that is entirely appropriate - and in a non-partisan way so that the people we are dealing with know that even if there is change of government the attitude will remain the same.
I hope that Ms Follett is one of the people who will go back in the not too distant future and that she will be able to accept the mayor's offer of honorary citizenship, which he was keen to give her, because he obviously believed that she had done an excellent job in leading the delegation that preceded this one. It was very clear to us that that delegation had broken so much of the ice. People who understand how the Japanese do business know that that was really the task that she had to achieve when she led her delegation to Japan. Mr Speaker, I look forward to further delegations benefiting the people of the ACT.
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (3.38): Mr Speaker, there is a very strong odour of hypocrisy emanating from the Liberal ranks on this issue. I can very well remember the constant carping that was indulged in by the Liberals over the initial Government and business delegation to Japan in late 1993. Mr Speaker, I can well remember before, during and after that delegation how frequently I had to explain to the Japanese and apologise to the Japanese for the blatant politicking that the Liberals indulged in. This was a concept which was foreign to the Japanese and which they took very seriously indeed.