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Tuesday, 12 November 1985
Page: 1994

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(6.22) —I said that the Department of Social Security had given the answer that it would not be cost effective to go through all the details that Senator Walters wanted to get such a figure. That was a management judgment which has to be made by State management and the central office of the Department of Social Security-in the same way, I suppose, as the Australian Taxation Office makes judgments about chasing tax evaders and tax avoiders, in the same way as the Attorney- General's Department in one famous case, strangely enough in Western Australia, decided that it would not proceed against bottom of the harbour operators and left the files in the bottom drawer for a few years. Sometimes those judgments would be right and sometimes they would be wrong. If Senator Walters has some evidence that in this case that judgment is wrong, I am certain that the Minister will follow it up, but that was the judgment that was made at this time. The Department does take action to ensure that things like this do not happen again. It is difficult in cases of industrial disputation to make sure they do not happen, but I know that when I was the Minister directly involved action was taken to ensure that in any future cases of industrial action this sort of thing was not repeated to the extent it was in this dispute.