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Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1059

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (18:51): Minister, I want to go back to a question Senator Cameron asked earlier, and it concerns the inquiry. Before you were a minister, when you were in opposition, you would have sat on these inquiries, and I am sure it says probably somewhere in Hansard, somewhere in committee reports, that you acknowledged the importance of it. And he asked whether you had been informed that there could be 3,300 agreements that would not be co-compliant. The impression I got—and this is what I want to check—from how you handled that question was that your office had not made you aware of what happened at that inquiry. So, my question is, have you been briefed about what happened at the inquiry into this legislation this week?

Senator Cash: Yes.

Senator RHIANNON: This is a huge part of what we are debating, that there could be so many of these agreements—thousands of agreements—not co-compliant. And in answer to an earlier question, you appeared not to know about it. Surely that was in the briefing. Is it a briefing just along the line that there was an inquiry today? Or were you actually given information about it that you considered before you came into this debate? I mean, this is very relevant. Are you taking the Senate processes seriously?