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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2440

Senator TOWNLEY(5.25) —I am not sure that we should even be discussing the estimates for the Department of Aviation because during the inquiry of Estimates Committee F many questions were asked of the Department, answers to which just have not been supplied to members of the Committee or to members of the Senate. I did hear that the answers were sent to the Minister for Aviation (Mr Beazley) and were found wanting, and so were returned to the Department to be rewritten. I am not able to confirm or deny that. It certainly adds to what Senator Chaney said in this place a couple of days ago, that it seems some departments are treating these Estimates examinations with contempt. Maybe they have been encouraged to do that by the Government. It seems that answers to a lot of questions asked during deliberations of the Committee that should have been in this place at least 10 days ago are still not here. Maybe it is that the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) has some to table now but even if he does, answers from committees should have been here for us to look at and examine-judging from experience with other Estimates committee hearings-way before this time. I will stop and maybe we can decide whether we should go ahead with consideration of the estimates of this Department at all.