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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7841

Senator RICE (Victoria) (12:05): I do feel for you, Minister, because it's very clear that you have not got any information to give us, because there was clearly a very inadequate process, if you can call it a process at all. There was no submission process. It sounds like the towns that were apparently on this short list didn't even know that they were on the short list. And why were those towns on the short list whereas other towns that equally could have been on the short list, like Launceston and Cairns, were not? So you aren't able to share any more information with us, but it just goes to the point that there was clearly no objective, transparent process for the selection of the short list. It sounds to me like the minister was riffing off names and saying, 'Yes, we could think of these six cities that possibly could have been sites, and we are choosing Orange.' I have nothing against Orange. It's a lovely place, and there are some criteria as to why it could be appropriate for it to be there, but the point is process. The point is having an appropriate, objective, transparent, accountable, evidence based process that you aren't able to share with us because it's quite clear that it doesn't exist.