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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2935 ..


Motion (by Mrs Carnell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Sister City Relationship with Nara

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (6.04): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of the adjournment debate to address again, very briefly, the question of our sister city relationship with Nara and the Liberals' track record for a bipartisan approach on this matter. I want to commence by reading from the Hansard some comments made by Mr Humphries which, I think, by way of an interjection, he attributed to you, Mr Speaker; but this is, in fact, Mr Humphries talking. I will quote what he said:

I know that the Japanese Government has made a number of decisions that I personally have great cause to regret. As Minister for the Environment, for example, I am very concerned about the fact that the Japanese Government continues to sanction, indeed to sponsor, wide-scale whaling in this same South Pacific region. That has an enormously detrimental effect on the environment, and I think the members of this place ought to exhibit some of the strength of purpose, some of the resolve and vision which they claim is missing in this Government, by taking a stand on whaling as well.

The Japanese Government, as you, Mr Speaker, have pointed out, has not apologised for its atrocities during the Second World War. The Japanese Government continues to exercise the death penalty against its citizens. These are all decisions that I would have cause to regret. Are we going to be logical and exercise some international sanction against Japan by cancelling our sister city relationship with Nara?

Mr Speaker, that was Mr Humphries's contribution to an earlier debate in this Assembly, but I want also to raise the question of the general attitude towards this sister city relationship which has been displayed by the Liberals. Mr De Domenico, as I said earlier, at one stage actually did admit that he had been opposed to the sister city relationship.

Mr De Domenico: Where? Where did I say that?

MS FOLLETT: It occurred at the Hotel Kurrajong when Mr De Domenico was in the company of the deputy mayor of Nara, apparently on an official visit. One of my staff was also at the Kurrajong Hotel at a private function. Mr De Domenico made the comment that he had been opposed to the sister city relationship with Nara and then turned to the interpreter and said, "Don't translate that".

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