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Monday, 9 December 2002
Page: 7393

Senator SHERRY (3:07 PM) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the minister's response.

The first question that I referred to, No. 304, is now more than six months overdue. Question No. 405 is now more than four months overdue. They are certainly detailed questions—as I think the minister would expect when I ask questions in respect of superannuation matters—but the Senate standing orders require a 30-day response period. If the minister or her office cannot respond within that 30 days, then I believe it would be courteous to give some sort of indication as to why such important issues are left unanswered for such a considerable amount of time.

There is another important issue in relation to question No. 705. That question relates to why the government and the minister responsible for superannuation policy have failed to respond to a number of Senate committee reports. In themselves, the answers to those Senate committee report recommendations are between nine and 18 months overdue. This is yet another indication of the parlous state of the government's approach to superannuation and retirement income matters in this country. These are important issues that have been raised by the Senate, and ministers—and, in this case, this minister in particular—should ensure a swift response. I am certainly not an unreasonable person. I have waited for some considerable time beyond the 30-days notice that is due, and a number of these matters have been outstanding for very lengthy periods of time.

Question agreed to.