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Friday, 5 December 1986
Page: 3499

Senator HARRADINE —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Health aware that delays in promised Commonwealth payments to certain public hospitals in the charitable category are causing unbearable interest burdens on and cash flow problems to those hospitals? Will the Minister or the Prime Minister adopt a Father Christmas role and ensure that the departmental officers are instructed to make the promised payments before Christmas?

Senator GRIMES —Having had some warning on this, my staff contacted the office of the Minister for Health, who is in the process of contacting the Prime Minister and the Department of Finance to expedite those payments as soon as possible.

Senator Sheil —He is sitting right beside you.

Senator GRIMES —Yes, I know Senator Walsh is there. We understand the concern of the organisations involved. I hope to be able to give Senator Harradine and those organisations some good news very soon.