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Monday, 20 March 2017
Page: 1379

Senator RYAN (VictoriaSpecial Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet) (15:04): In response to this, I will outline that Senator Wong acted in good faith and we did have a discussion about this in February. While I was in the chamber this afternoon prior to question time, I did receive information that Senator Wong's office had contacted mine. Senator Wong wrote to me this afternoon about this. What I can say before I provide an explanation is the statement I have received from the minister's office in the other place: 'The Department of Human Services and the Minister for Human Services take this matter very seriously and are intent on having an accurate and fulsome response. The response is in the final stages of review and, I am advised, will be provided before 31 March 2017.' I was of the understanding it was going to be provided not long after my conversation with Senator Wong in February. I understand and I will be pursuing it with my office. Senator Wong's office contacted mine. Senator Wong has said that to date her office has not received a response. My office said they did so by telephone. I will be pursuing that when I get back to the office and I will be pursuing this question with the minister.