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Tuesday, 15 October 2002
Page: 5168


Senator CARR (5:07 PM) — That was a very provocative response. Given that this bill is so critical, and Senator Alston finds it so difficult to come to the chamber—


Senator Stott Despoja —Don't I have the call?


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Bolkus)—No, Senator Carr has the call, Senator Stott Despoja.


Senator CARR —It strikes me that, if the government do regard this bill as being so vital, the least they could do is find the responsible minister who represents the Minister for Education, Science and Training in this chamber. I am quite happy to acknowledge that I represent the Labor Party on education in this chamber, and it is appropriate that I be here. I have always tried to fulfil my obligations to this chamber. The government should at least lift the bar a bit here, set standards that they can perhaps meet and ask this minister to fulfil his obligations. I know that it is difficult. He has to attend, engage in debate and take an interest. I am afraid that he has failed on all of those fronts.