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Wednesday, 5 September 1984
Page: 483


Senator MISSEN —by leave-I move:

That the Senate take note of the statement.

I shall make a few remarks because I was one who raised the difficulties that arose during the last week of sitting, although the difficulties relate not just to that period. In recent months, we have found that the speed with which Hansard has been delivered to honourable senators has decreased. Instead of Hansard being delivered early in the morning so that honourable senators can check remarks made during the previous day and can refer, if necessary, to those statements early in the proceedings on the following day, Hansard is coming out later and later, sometimes in the afternoon. Consequently, this is not just a difficulty that arose at the end of that week, although what happened then was more extreme.

I did not see the Friday Hansard until the middle of the following week. It is, of course, difficult if honourable senators do not receive the Hansard on the following day. That was not the record of Hansard for many years. Its delivery was very speedy. I understand, from those who serve on Estimates committees, that there have often been delays in the delivery of Hansard. When I complained about this aspect last week, I was told that at the end of the week the urgency to produce Hansard declines. If that is true, I think it is unfortunate. I do not know why the Thursday Hansard should not be out before we leave on Friday and why the Friday Hansard should not be available first thing on Monday. I know that last week there was a mail strike in Canberra which, to some extent, may have delayed the delivery of Hansard to honourable senators away from Canberra. I suggest that inquiries should be made to ascertain whether there is a need for either better machines or more staff to ensure that Hansard's excellent record in previous years in making Hansard available to honourable senators early on the day following a hearing is not lost but recovered. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.