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Wednesday, 11 December 2002
Page: 7730

Senator GEORGE CAMPBELL (2:39 PM) —My question is to Senator Hill, representing the Prime Minister. Can the minister provide to the Senate the following information relating to the government's eminent multimillion dollar public information campaign on the threat of terrorism? When will the campaign be run? How will it be conducted and how much will be spent on it? Which company has won the contract and how was it selected?

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) —I think it will be an eminent campaign and, hopefully, it will be imminent because it is a very important issue. I will get the details required by the honourable senator and let him have them as soon as possible.

Senator GEORGE CAMPBELL —Mr Deputy President, I ask a supplementary question. Is the minister aware that there is already press speculation that this campaign is going to cost $27 million, that it is going to run over the Christmas period, that Brown Melhuish Fishlock have got the contract, that there was no tender process and that PM&C is the lead agency? How is it that the minister is unable to provide the basic information about this eminent campaign to the Senate? Will he undertake to obtain this information from the Government Communications Unit in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and report back to the Senate before we rise tonight?

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) —I do not know anything about it because I have not had anything to do with it. I suspect that probably the Prime Minister has not either. I indicated to the honourable senator a moment ago that I would seek the information he is seeking and let him have it as soon as possible.