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Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Page: 12464

Senator BROWN (12:06 PM) —A minute ago the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts was talking about getting his report in by 2005. Now, suddenly, he says that the review date at the end of 2006, which is his own, is setting an artificial date. That is nonsense. Then he says that, if he has not produced a report for the parliament, we can complain about it. We are a bit smarter than that. The fact is: you have put in here a date by which the minister must report to the parliament. If the minister thinks that the end of 2006 is too early, then he is caught in an enormous inconsistency. He set that as the date by which the review process was to have taken place. All we are saying is: put the report in to the parliament so that we can have a look at what has happened in that review. He is saying, `No, leave it to me to come back to parliament whenever I want to—it might be the year 2626—and you can complain in the meantime.'

Senator Alston —But you don't do that!

Senator BROWN —That is quite right, you do not do that. You set a date at which the minister must report back to this Senate and to the House of Representatives. That is what the Greens amendment is doing.