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Thursday, 19 September 1985
Page: 754


Senator DURACK —Has the Minister for Finance or his Department been consulted or involved in any discussions about the proposed payment to the former head of the Australian Bicentennial Authority? If so, what attitude has the Minister adopted to this matter? If the Minister or his Department have not been consulted does the Minister expect that, in the ordinary course of the administration, he and his Department will be consulted about that payment? Generally, what is the Department's or the Minister's views on payments which are not required by the provisions of a contract of employment, such as in the case of the payment to Dr Armstrong of $240,000, which is alleged to have been paid under the category of restraints and releases and is certainly outside the provisions of his contract of employment?


Senator WALSH —I have not been involved in any discussions or consultations regarding Dr Armstrong's termination package. I do not know-I have not asked-whether officials of my Department have been involved. I will find out. As to whether I am likely to be involved in the future, the answer would have to be yes, to some extent, unless an existing appropriation has made allowance for that amount.