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Monday, 26 March 2001
Page: 22980


Senator ABETZ (Special Minister of State) (6:27 PM) —I seek leave to make a brief statement in relation to an order for the production of documents that was sent to me earlier today.

Leave granted.


Senator ABETZ —At about 5 p.m. today I received a letter from the Clerk informing me of an order that was agreed to by the Senate earlier today. The order states that the material requested should be presented to the Senate by 26 March 2001. Given that I received the order only at about 5 p.m. today, it was obviously impossible for me to comply with this request. Further, I have forwarded a copy of the order to the Acting Minister for Finance and Administration, Senator Kemp. Senators should understand that the acting minister, Senator Kemp, is the responsible authority for these orders, not me. Given that I have agreed to contain myself to the bare facts and not make any disparaging comments of the Labor Party in putting this forward, I thank the Senate for the opportunity to clarify the record.

Sitting suspended from 6.28 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.