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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2537

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(9.16) —We have a strange tradition in this place that we do not indulge in that sort of point scoring, but if the honourable senator wants to she can cop what is going to happen in the future. We have a system in the Senate where we have long examination of the estimates. The Committee stages of the Appropriation Bills are supposed to be about cleaning up details and are supposed to be about looking at total expenditure. The honourable senator is talking about, I think from memory, a total of $1m expenditure in Launceston. It is very important to her and to me, and I accept that, but in the totality of the Budget it is nonsense. We have been dealing with this Department for about an hour and a half. With due respect, when the honourable senator's side was in government if we had spent an hour and a half discussing the Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism people would have been going off their brains and carrying on. The honourable senator has an answer. We are going to complete that facility which is a combined State-Federal facility. There will be delays on the Commonwealth side and the State side, and I am not denying that. But what on earth are we doing in here tonight arguing about minute points on that issue? Maybe it is important to the honourable senator, maybe it is important to me, but it is not important to the vast majority of people in this country.