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Ministerial changes raise more questions than they answer: Hill



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THE SENATE SENATOR ROBERT HILL

M EDIA RELEASE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Thursday, January 31 Adelaide 08/91

MINISTERIAL· CHANGES RAISE MORE QUESTIONS THAN THEY ANSWER: HTT/T,

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today said the reorganisation of the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio raised noire questions than it answered.

Senator Hill said some of the questions the Hawke Government must now answer are:

IS Senator Evans still the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade now that Dr Blewett is Minister for Trade and Overseas

Development?

DO we now have two Ministers for Trade?

IF so, where will the line of delineation be drawn?

IS Senator Evans still responsible for trade policy and Dr Blewett for trade negotiations? '

WHO is responsible for bilateral trade issues?

IF Senator Evans eventually wrests Austrade (trade promotion) from Senator Button, will it go with trade policy or trade negotiations?

TO which Minister will the trade section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) report?

IS DFAT going to remain as it is, or will it again be split now that Ministerial responsibility seems to be reverting back to the days when Trade and Foreign Affairs were separate?

HOW is humanitarian aid better placed with the trade Minister?

HOW will this reshuffle give more "visible emphasis" to the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB), as claimed bv Senator Evans?

Senator Hill said it seemed Senator Evans wished to wash his hands of foreign aid, an area in which he has not had a happy record.

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"The announcement shows the Government wanted to demonstrate that it recognised the relationship between trade and aid," Senator Hill said.

"Yet there Is no reason why the new structure better recognises that link as Senator Evans was - and it appears still is - the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"There is no doubt that under Labor the connections between trade and aid have been ignored and insufficient attention has been given to building strong economic ties with the developing countries in our region.

"But there is nothing in the Government's announcement which demonstrates that this shortcoming is to be rectified. "

(ends)

Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark BaLioLioh on (08) 237 7920