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Thursday, 16 May 1985
Page: 2040

Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(10.54) —I welcome Senator Coates's apparent support for this motion. It is good to see him lifting his game in this way and being prepared to undertake this work.

Senator Ryan —Don't be patronising.

Senator CHANEY —Don't be silly, Senator. That follows a series of discussions, and I am very glad that Senator Coates will not split the Australian Labor Party on this issue. It would have cost me my debating point that members on the other side of the House do not have principles, and that they never vote against a Caucus decision. A very serious issue has been raised by Senator Primmer in his motion. I think the Senate has always agreed that it is necessary for statutory authorities to be accountable for public monies. There is a general conflict of principle over commercial confidentiality. On a quick examination of what happened in the early 1970s, it seems to me that the matter has not been completely dealt with and I think committee examination is warranted. I commend the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.