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Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Page: 5233


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) (18:00): It is important to point out to Senator Cormann, as he seeks to impose theories upon the chamber about what motivated the government or Senator Brown in relation to the amendment yesterday, what this statement means is what it says. It is worth placing on the record that this government is not only taking a very open approach but we are doing that very comprehensively. Hence I shall take the opportunity to read this statement on behalf of the government so there is no ambiguity and people are not misled by the presentation by Senator Cormann here today.

The statement relates to an order for the production of documents on act of grace payments, agreed to on 22 August 2011:

The Special Minister of State advises that the Department of Finance and Deregulation has commenced work to determine the nature of the work involved in answering the order.

Senators will note that the Senate's decision yesterday to expand the scope of the request to cover claims since 1996 substantially increases the workload required to meet the request.

Producing the response will require a substantial diversion of departmental resources. This being the case, the Special Minister of State advises that a further response will be provided to the Senate in due course.

It is self-explanatory. There is no supposition or tricky theory as espoused by Senator Cormann and I commend that motion to the Senate.

Question agreed to.