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Thursday, 30 September 1999
Page: 9238

Senator WOODLEY (11:30 AM) —Madam President, I seek leave to make a brief personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator WOODLEY —A story in the Age today states:

Senator Woodley . . . said the Senate inquiry would be `extremely critical' of deregulation and said it would recommend that states not proceed with the proposal.

Firstly, the report of the inquiry has not been tabled, and its recommendations have not been finalised. Secondly, the recommendation mentioned in the Age article is not one which is before the committee.

I do not have a tape recording of what was a fairly long interview, but I do recall saying that I could not tell the journalist what the committee's report would recommend. However, in response to the journalist's query about the status of committee recommendations, I explained that the government was not obliged to follow what the committee recommended. I presume that it was in this context that the confusion occurred. I apologise to the Senate and the committee for any confusion I may have caused by the interview and its subsequent reporting in the Age.