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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1663

Mr HOLLIS(10.58) —I wanted to make some comments at length this evening about some of the accusations that were made in the Waste Watch Committee report but time will prevent me from doing so. However, I should like to bring to the attention of the House one episode and next week, if I get the call in an adjournment debate, I shall mention other things that I would have said this evening had I the time. Senator Michael Baume, who chairs that Committee, and who has told us all how we must stop wasting government money, should start by setting an example himself. I understand that last week he had a Commonwealth car waiting for one and a half hours while he was at the dentist.

Mr Humphreys —How much did that cost?

Mr HOLLIS —That is what I would like to know. How much did it cost the Australian taxpayer? This is a person who is on all the news media telling us how we have to save money and how the Government is wasting it. He is wasting taxpayers' money while he is at the dentist by causing a Commonwealth car to wait for one and half hours.

Mr Humphreys —Maybe we should give him the banana award.

Mr HOLLIS —He would indeed be entitled to the banana award and maybe we could have a special award for the member of this Parliament who wastes the most government money and costs the Australian taxpayer the most. Surely somebody who keeps a Commonwealth car waiting there for so long would have to be at least in the top 10 in achieving that award.

There is another point I would like to mention. Senator Baume criticised a grant to academics, apparently at the University of Wollongong. I might say that there was one at the University of Wollongong and one at the University of Sydney. He spoke of $41,410 as a payment for writing the history of the Australian Labor Party. The ALP did not ask the academics to do this work and in fact the ALP was not even consulted on the matter. This was work done by two academics and a grant was given over a three-year period to carry out the work. One would think that Senator Baume, being a practising politician, would be able to recognise and identify historical research which is likely to be of considerable interest and value not only to the Australian people in general but to his own Party.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the House stands adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday next.

House adjourned at 11 p.m.