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Monday, 2 June 2003
Page: 15579


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) (2:00 PM) —I inform the House that the Minister for Trade will be absent from question time today, tomorrow and Wednesday. He is in Thailand to attend the APEC MRT meeting. The Minister for Foreign Affairs will answer questions on his behalf. I also inform the House that the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources will be absent from question time. He is on leave for some six to eight weeks. The minister has undergone throat surgery, and pathology reports have confirmed the presence of an early stage tumour on the vocal chords requiring radiation therapy. He is required to remain in Brisbane. I know that all members of the House will wish the minister a speedy and full recovery.

Honourable members—Hear, hear!


Mr HOWARD —I have appointed the Minister for Small Business and Tourism as Acting Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources. As a consequence, he will naturally answer questions on the absent minister's behalf—and answer them well, as he always does.