Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 19 March 1987
Page: 1154

Mr RUDDOCK —by leave-I thank the House for its courtesy in allowing me to add a few remarks about the report from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts. I am a relatively new member of it, and I must say that I was not aware of the strength of the view that the Senate has on this question. I think honourable members ought to know that the matter has brought some disrepute upon the Parliament because of the conflict that has emerged. A program that some of us watch from time to time is called the Carleton-Walsh Report. I do not know whether honourable members recall that on one occasion last year, when the Parliament was discussing the question of work practices, as I recall, a reporter for that program mentioned the work practices of the Parliament and described the Standing Orders of the Senate and the conflict with the Public Accounts Committee Act as perhaps the work practices of this institution. On that occasion the Committee was sitting, deliberating, and had brought a number of very senior public servants to Canberra at expense to give evidence; and the Committee's hearings had to be discontinued because of the strength of view amongst our colleagues in the Senate on this question. It is a very difficult and very vexed question but, while it continues unresolved or while some people want to dispute the efficacy of the opinions that have been proffered on this matter, it can only serve to bring the Parliament collectively into disrepute.