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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26383

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (5:37 PM) —I guess this is a way to fill in a day; we can keep repeating the same points. But affordability is guaranteed by our existing system, which is protected under this agreement. It therefore does not need to be restated: we did not put the PBS system on the table. Why the American negotiators wanted a particular point made from their perspective is an issue for them. As far as we are concerned, we looked to see if there was any downside in their representation and, in this instance, we saw no downside. In fact, as I said to Senator Ridgeway—and I think I said to Senator Nettle—we even saw an arguable benefit to us in terms of greater transparency.