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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1573

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(7.22) —The matter raised by Senator Colston is familiar to me. I am well aware that the Queensland Government in its scheme of aids for the disabled applies a means test. It has always been a matter of disgust to me that Mr Austin, the Minister for Health in Queensland, can attack the Federal Government for applying an assets test with limits of $70,000 and $110,000 but in applying a means test and an assets test for aids for the disabled his Government refuses aids if the applicant has more than $100 in the bank or more than $5,000 in assets. I will get further details and give them to Senator Colston.

The matter that Senator Mason raised about Army housing I am not familiar with, but I will certainly get the Minister for Defence (Mr Beazley) to reply. I would certainly be as annoyed as Senator Mason is if there was any discrimination against the husbands or wives of Army personnel for raising such matters.

I will certainly refer the matters raised by Senator Harradine to the Minister for Transport (Mr Peter Morris). I would have thought that Australian National was in enough trouble in Tasmania trying to keep its head above water without spraying along the railway lines between Bridgewater and New Norfolk, particularly a substance like bromacil, which, as Senator Harradine says, is a soil sterilant. It has a broad action, is long acting and should be used with extreme care. As I said, Australian National is in enough strife without having to pay compensation to people, although it certainly sounds as though it should. I will leave the matter raised by Senator Missen to you, Mr President; but all of the other matters I will refer to the relevant Ministers.

The PRESIDENT —I did have inquiries made this afternoon about the matter raised by Senator Missen concerning the delay in the printing and publication of the Senate Hansard for yesterday. The Principal Parliamentary Reporter reported to me this afternoon as follows:

Delivery of yesterday's daily Hansard by the Government Printer has been delayed due to:

1. Precedence having to be given to the printing of Bills; and

2. A shortage of printing staff due to people being on compensation as a result of repetition strain injury, on sick leave or on long term leave and not able to be replaced.

The Government Printer has estimated that Hansard will be available at about 4 p.m. today.

That note was given to me shortly after lunch. However, whether or not priority has been given by the Government Printer to the printing of the House of Representatives Hansard over and above the Senate Hansard, as has been suggested by Senator Missen, I cannot comment on. I am not aware of any changes that have taken place in the long-standing practices here but I shall certainly take up that aspect of the matter with the appropriate Minister. Senator Missen, of course, will appreciate that the Government Printing Office is not under the control of the Parliament but is under the control of the Government. I shall make inquiries in respect of the point that he has raised and certainly take up that aspect of the matter with the appropriate Minister.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 7.25 p.m.