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Tuesday, 9 February 1999
Page: 2195


Mr ALLAN MORRIS (3:26 PM) —The point I make, Mr Speaker, is that 321 says:

A document relating to public affairs quoted from by a Minister or an Assistant Minister, unless stated to be of a confidential nature or such as should more properly be obtained by address, shall, if required by any Member, be laid on the Table.

Mr Speaker, it says `a document'. A document may be one page or a hundred pages. I would suggest that it is very clear. As for what was being said by you earlier, I thought you said `a page'.


Mr SPEAKER —So far as I am concerned, this matter is concluded. In the time that I have spent in this parliament, ministers have been at liberty to table whatever they wish or whatever they choose not to, and all that the Speaker seeks from them is an indication as to whether or not the document from which they are quoting is confidential. The Minister for Health and Aged Care indicated that that from which he was quoting he was prepared to table, and he did so. He has subsequently indicated the sequence of events that meant that he did not choose to table the attached other sheet of paper. I am satisfied that the Minister for Health and Aged Care has acted responsibly and I do not intend to take this matter any further.


Mr Beazley —I ask you, Mr Speaker, to consider one more thing.


Mr SPEAKER —The Leader of the Opposition knows that he will not be heard until he has the call and I will grant him indulgence out of respect for his office.