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Monday, 19 September 1994
Page: 893

Senator JONES —by leave—I move:

  That the time for presentation of report no. 1 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on its examination of annual reports be extended to 13 October 1994.

The committee was due to report on its examination of its annual reports by 30 June 1994. An extension of time was granted by the Senate until 19 September 1994. A further extension has now been sought for the committee to report by 13 October 1994.

  The committee was given a reference on sexual harassment in the armed forces on 29 September 1993, to which the committee gave priority over its other activities. Work on its other inquiry—bilateral relations with China—was deferred until the committee could report on the sexual harassment inquiry, except for a visit to China in April 1994.

  The committee devoted considerable time to the finalisation of the sexual harassment report from May until its tabling on 25 August 1994. The sensitivity and complexity of the task required the full attention of the committee in order to achieve that tabling date. Since the tabling of that report, the committee has turned its attention again to its other main activities—the China inquiry and the report on annual reports.

  When the committee sought its original extension of time to report on annual reports it was thought that the sexual harassment report would be completed earlier than actually occurred. Although the report on annual reports is close to finalisation, the committee needs a short extension of time to report. A further statement will be made to the Senate soon on the China inquiry. At that time I will be seeking to move a motion to extend the reporting date for that inquiry.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.