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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7601

Senator ROBERT RAY (6:21 PM) —I have a question for the minister. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD put down a report on this bill on 29 May in the House of Representatives and some two weeks later in the Senate. Is the government going to formally respond to that report? That is normally done within three months, although this is not a classic report in the sense that it is from a reference committee or a legislation committee. I am not sure whether the government is absolutely obliged in a legal sense to respond. Even if it is not, I would be interested to know whether it is going to respond to that report, given the fact that the government itself commissioned the report, given the fact that it urged the committee to get on with its report and given the fact that the committee was able to bring forward its report to assist the government. Looking at this legislation, it is apparent that 10 of the recommendations have been picked up, two have been partially picked up and three have been rejected. We do not know the specific reasons why some have been picked up and others rejected or only partially picked up. It may assist the committee in its later deliberations if you can let us know that, Minister.