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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 416

Senator BROWNHILL (Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia) (3.35 p.m.) —I move:

  That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Trade (Senator McMullan) to a question without notice asked by Senator Brownhill this day, relating to the responsibilities of Austrade and Ausindustry.

The minister said:

It is not really my responsibility to comment because it is entirely within the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, but it is an initiative designed to coordinate the industry promotion aspects of the programs currently within that department to make them more readily and efficiently available to industry.

I commend the minister for that; but it really is not what the question was about. The question was about community dismay about what the minister and Minister Cook are on about as far as whose portfolio Ausindustry is under. The minister went on to say, `But the reason that we have talked about coordinating it with trade—and I know that there are a couple of breathless newspapers—' So he has talked about coordinating it with trade, and thereto lies the confusion in the community. Just last year, Austrade started off a one-stop shopfront approach to help industry in Australia and businesses in the community get their messages across to let us export overseas.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! The time for the debate has expired.

Senator BROWNHILL —Thank you, Mr Deputy President. I finish by saying that confusion still exists, and the minister has left us more confused today than we were before.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.