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Thursday, 11 May 2000
Page: 16251


Mr BEAZLEY (Leader of the Opposition) (9:30 AM) —I move:

That so much of standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Leader of the Opposition from moving forthwith that the House calls on the Minister for Health and Aged Care to attend the House immediately and explain:

(1) his culpability for radiologists becoming aware on 6 May 1998 of confidential official information regarding a budget measure on MRI machines which was subsequently announced on 12 May 1998;

(2) his culpability for the surge in MRI orders between 6 and 12 May 1998, triggered by a disclosure of confidential official information;

(3) his misleading denials in the House since February 1999 of any confidential official information having been disclosed prior to the 1998 budget in the face of a finding by the Auditor-General that on the balance of probabilities such a disclosure had in fact taken place; and

(4) why, given his culpability for the disclosure and his misleading denials regarding disclosure in the House, he should not resign immediately on the basis that the Auditor-General's damning findings of :

(a) inappropriate disclosure of confidential official information prior to the 1998 budget; and,

(b) the grossly inadequate decision making process and negotiating practice employed by the minister and his department in the development of the 1998 MRI budget measure.

This is a massive scandal and the minister is trying to cover it up.


Mr Reith —Mr Speaker, the government intends to take this matter after question time.

Motion (by Mr Reith) put:

That the member be not further heard.