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Thursday, 28 February 1985
Page: 328

Senator PETER RAE —My question is directed to the Minister for Finance both in that capacity and in his capacity as the Minister representing the Treasurer. Is it a fact that the Economic Planning Advisory Council has a statutory obligation to report as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year? Is it a fact that the annual report of a body such as EPAC is an extremely important opportunity for, and aspect of, its accountability and communication with the public and the Parliament? Is it a fact that now, eight months after it was due to be published as soon as practicable, the report has neither been published nor presented to the Parliament? Why has this undue delay occurred? What has made it impracticable to make the report within a reasonable time?

Senator WALSH —In response to the first part of the question, I do not know whether there is such a statutory obligation, but I imagine that Senator Rae would not have asked such a question if there was not; so I take that for granted. I am not sure whether EPAC is obliged to report through the Treasurer, the Prime Minister or the Special Minister of State. I think it is more likely to be the Prime Minister but I will have that checked out and also seek an explanation for what Senator Rae says is the unacceptable delay in the presentation of that report.