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Tuesday, 21 May 1985
Page: 2255


Senator RYAN (Minister for Education)(5.54) —The minute Senator Baume is referring to was the subject of lengthy discussion at the Estimates Committee D hearing when Senator Baume had the opportunity to question at length the officer who wrote the minute. As I recall, during that discussion the officer explained that the minute referred to the automatic information provided to members and senators for the purposes of making initial announcements. As I recall, the officer explained that the minute was understood to be in that context by the small group who received it. However, as Senator Baume and other honourable senators have raised the possibility that the minute could have been interpreted to mean some sort of denial of information to Opposition members and senators, I say to them that I am informed by the responsible officer from the Commonwealth Schools Commission that new procedures are under way which will ensure both that all members and senators have access to information about grants going to schools in their electorates and that the requests I have made that government members and senators are in a position to make initial announcements will also be observed.