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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2939


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.10) —I am sorry I lost my cool, Mr Chairman, but I firmly believe that the appropriations debate is a time to talk about the appropriations and it is a pity that the debate is abused in this way. I have had warning that Senator Kilgariff is going to do something like that too and that is a shame.

There are a large number of ordinances in the Australian Capital Territory. They are carefully monitored, I am told. I cannot give details of when those various ordinances are up for review. To some extent the Department of Territories is in the hands of the Attorney-General's Department, which has to fit in such reviews. For the Canberra Commercial Development Authority the accounts are with the auditors now. The Department of Territories, the Australian Government Solicitor and the Public Service Board are now determining the specific redundancy entitlements of former employees of the Authority and we will finalise these arrangements as quickly as possible. Financial statements setting out the details of the operation of the Belconnen Mall from 1 July 1985 to 27 February 1986 by the Authority and from 28 February to 26 March 1986 by the Department of Territories have been prepared and, as I said, are with the Audit Office. The statements will be presented to the Minister for Territories (Mr Scholes) as soon as possible. I did not catch the bit, when I lost my temper, about someone being towed away but I will refer that to the Minister.

I am told that with those contracts with rise and fall clauses in them the rises have been applied. I do not know about the details given by Senator Vigor concerning whether people who want to pay off their loans are asked to sign new contracts with rise and fall clauses in them. I just find it interesting that Senator Vigor can defend a situation in which people are paying interest rates of 4 per cent per annum when everyone else is paying 15 per cent per annum, but that is his business.