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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 2922 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

but the reaction was absolutely overwhelming. Consistent with the style of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings, there was no actual motion put to the meeting because these meetings are about trying to get people to cooperate rather than winding up with some people excluded.

Separate to the meeting, but parallel, there was the request put to the head of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association that he take our feelings to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which I believe was held in New Zealand last year. That request was complied with. The overwhelming reaction of the delegates of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was one of being appalled at the French nuclear tests, as we were appalled at the continued nuclear testing of weapons of any country in the world.

Mr Speaker, I think it is important for us not just to take the motion that Mr Humphries has put up and say, "Well, this has now finished". I think Ms Tucker does raise some important issues in saying, "Let us also continue sending the message. Yes; we realise there is no point in pursuing this ban any further. However, let us at least put out the last message that says, `We are still appalled at the fact that you proceeded with those nuclear tests, in the face of world anger' ". I think it is important that the French President understand that there is still residual anger over the actions that they took. The objection that this Assembly raised, the approach that we took, ought not be seen in any way as a win for the French. All right; we put bans in place, but they did not have effect; we did what we wanted to, and it is all finished.

I think it is important that they still understand the attitude because the French may well indicate their approach by their being signatories to the treaties that are mentioned in both the motion and the amendment. Nevertheless, I think it is important for us to continue sending out a clear message. I think it is not going to hurt for one more letter to go - now that we have promoted Mr Chirac to President again - to the French President to ensure that exactly where we stand is understood.

Mr Speaker, I think it was also important for us to break those links with our sister city, as it was then, Versailles; but it may well also be time to begin to reconsider that sister-city relationship. But I would like to see it done in the context of other possible sister-city relationships on a worldwide basis. I know various members have been discussing possibilities in that respect. We ought not simply go back and say, "Because we had established a friendship with Versailles, we should immediately re-establish it". I think it should be done now in the context of other sister-city relationships which we can establish worldwide.

Mr Speaker, it was a great shame that, in spite of the world reaction to the French nuclear tests, they did continue and carry them through. However, it is water under the bridge. It is appropriate for us now to make sure that residual feeling is expressed to the French people through their President. Nevertheless, we should withdraw these bans.

Amendment (Ms Horodny's) to the amendment (Ms Tucker's) agreed to.

Amendment (Ms Tucker's), as amended, agreed to.

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