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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1847

Senator DURACK —My question is directed to the Minister for Finance, both in that capacity and as Minister representing the Treasurer. I ask: In light of the information which was given to the Senate by the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Gareth Evans, on 17 October which for the first time revealed the truth about the then state of the Government's so-called inquiry into gold tax-a response which, incidentally, exposed misleading statements by both the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance-can the Minister say whether the inquiry has yet been set up? If so, when was it set up? Who constitutes the inquiry? What are its terms of reference?

Senator WALSH —I understand that Senator Durack's office-if not Senator Durack personally-was advised on 5 November, which was last Tuesday, by the Treasurer's office that both the membership and the terms of reference of the inquiry have been largely agreed by the Treasurer and the Prime Minister. They have not yet been announced-at least that was the case on 5 November; I think it is still the case-but are awaiting the agreement of the proposed members and the required declarations of interest; that is, those declarations of interest to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, a policy which has been consistently followed by this Government in respect of such appointments.

Senator DURACK —I ask a supplementary question, Mr Deputy President. What are the terms of reference of the inquiry?

Senator WALSH —I understand that Senator Durack's office was advised about the terms of reference also last Tuesday.