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Thursday, 24 March 1994
Page: 2156

Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.23 a.m.) —I cannot give Senator Short first-hand knowledge of 1989 because I was not the minister. In terms of 1993 I was very keen, as I said earlier, in the context of a humanitarian response to refugees and to compassionate humanitarian cases, that we embrace the decision that we took. I would not call it a coincidence; I would call it a deliberate part of our humanitarian package. As I said, I tried to address it as soon as I could in this portfolio. I do not know what the honourable senator is getting at with this. I am trying to work out whether he is criticising us for having made the decision on 1 November or earlier.