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Monday, 21 October 2002
Page: 5490

Senator McGAURAN (3:38 PM) —I seek leave to make a brief personal explanation, as I claim to have been misrepresented.

Leave granted.

Senator McGAURAN —On a point of clarity, I believe that the Senate may have been—

Senator O'Brien —Misled. We'll allow you to withdraw.

Senator McGAURAN —`Misled' is far too strong a word. If my comments, and I will need to check them in Hansard, were to lead the Senate to believe that I said that no money was given by the Keating government to the then farmhand effort, my point was that there was no acceptance—

Senator Ludwig —Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. It seems to me that Senator McGauran is now going on to the reasons behind the point he wishes to make. I think he should confine himself to the necessary part of the question that he wishes to make an explanation on, rather than go into the detail.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —There is no point of order. Senator McGauran, be careful with your comments.

Senator McGAURAN —All right. I would like to see the Hansard to see what I said. I know certainly what I meant, and that was that there was a delay by the Keating government in accepting that there was a drought in this country, and it was not until they accepted that there was a drought that proper assistance was forthcoming. That was forced upon them by a media campaign. It was not until the media got involved that that government accepted that there was even a drought in this country, and then assistance was forthcoming—and, yes, to the farmhand effort of the time.