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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1356

Senator CHANEY —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I refer to my question to him last Tuesday concerning the desirability of having the final report of the Costigan Royal Commission on the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union tabled in Federal Parliament. I remind the Minister that he was not able to give a definite answer as to whether , if the House of Representatives were dissolved for the election, the Costigan report would be tabled in the Senate. As the whole of Australia now expects the House of Representatives to adjourn this week for the election, I again ask the Minister: Will the Government undertake to table the Costigan report in the Senate?

Senator BUTTON —No. It is the Government's wish that as much as possible of the Costigan report should be made public. That view has been expressed on a number of occasions by Government spokesmen.

Senator Missen —Do they mean it?

Senator BUTTON —I can answer that question afterwards. The Government, of course , will have to be in the position of exercising a discretion as to whether all parts of the Costigan report are tabled.

Senator Chaney —I agree with that. I am not quarrelling with that.

Senator BUTTON —Yes. I just make the point that the Government has offered to make available to the Leader of the Opposition a full, unexpurgated version of the Costigan report. That will be done. But the decision on whether it is to be tabled in the Senate if the House of Representatives is not sitting is a matter which will have to be addressed in the context of the time of publication.