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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26391

Senator NETTLE (6:15 PM) —So the working group comprises members of the PBAC, Medicines Australia, the industry lobby group and a consumer representative. The document has called for comments to be presented to the Department of Health and Ageing by 20 August 2004. I am wondering why we are being asked to pass this free trade agreement before the date for determining how the implementation of this process, as a part of the trade agreement, is going to occur. We are still eight days away from the department's deadline for receiving comment about how this committee under the US-Australia free trade agreement might operate. What is the rationale for having the vote eight days before comments are even received from the public about how the process of implementing the agreement will occur?