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Thursday, 30 October 1997
Page: 8446

Senator MARGETTS(12.01 p.m.) —Following on from the comments that Senator Stott Despoja made earlier, the government has a choice about when it puts this legislation forward. Our concern, when we contacted representatives of the government, was that they did have a choice about when the legislation went forward. Of course, they did have the ability to make sure that this report was ready for whenever the legislation came forward. It would make no sense at all to deal with this legislation without that report being available. That is what we are saying; it was not a matter of the bill being urgent, rather the bill could not really have even been considered meaningfully without the report. So what the minister was saying was nonsense in relation to the timing. He said, `Aren't they great, they have produced it before the end of the year?' It would have been useless to have produced it before the end of the year if we had had to deal with the bill without the report.