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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 679

Senator Peter Rae-Mr President, I should like to raise a point of order arising out of Question Time, if I may. It is in relation to a question in regard to the Craigbourne Dam scheme in Tasmania and the answer given by the Minister for Finance (Senator Walsh). The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Chaney) sought the tabling of the document from which the Minister had read. The document which was tabled made it quite clear that it was a question on notice and that the detail of the question had been provided in advance, as had the suggested response. The suggested response contained the information that there was nothing to do with the Commonwealth in relation to the scheme and to the expenditure. In view of that, Mr President, and in view of the many times in which we had to put up with the complaints of former Senator McLaren during the preceding seven years or so, I ask whether you have given any further thought to the situation of questions without notice, particularly where the drafted answer shows that the question has nothing to do with the Minister's responsibility and is asked for political purposes only.

The PRESIDENT —I have heard what Senator Peter Rae has said. My mind goes back to the fact that the Standing Orders Committee has considered this matter at least once before in the time I have been a member of the Committee and decided to recommend to the Senate that no action should be taken in respect of the matter.