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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26100

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (10:38 AM) —I did answer that question. I said that the way in which the consultation will take place—the detail of the form and the structure—has not been predetermined. It will be determined by the two states in the circumstance of the issue that is before them. The advantage of that is that is provides flexibility. No doubt it would have been possible to have written another chapter setting out a prescribed format for such consultations. The downside of that would have been a loss of flexibility. But in circumstances where we do not know whether the article will ever be called upon, the government's view was that it was unnecessary and perhaps even unwise to go to that next step. So the answer to the question is the answer that I gave some time ago—that is, how the consultation will be conducted has not been predetermined. It will be determined by the state parties in the circumstance of a particular issue that comes before them.