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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1373

Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(11.52) —The Bill does not have those wider implications. Options are available to the Government to bring down legislation on any subject matter that it requires or desires from time to time. I have just indicated to the chamber that the reason we are not accepting the Democrats' amendments is that they are too far reaching. But if other options and alternatives arise during the inquiry or from the inquiry, they will clearly be open to the Government.

Heavens above, Senator Walters and Senator Watson have been in this place long enough to know that governments can bring in any legislation, although it requires the consent of both Houses of Parliament to become law. Therefore if, in the evolution of this inquiry, we find that changes are essential, it will be a matter for the Government to make decisions based upon the inquiry and based upon the options available to it and to bring them here in legislation. The short answer is that there is no hidden agenda in respect of the Government's proposals on this current inquiry and on this piece of legislation.