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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2321

Senator DURACK —I seek leave to make a short statement in relation to one of the items on this list.

Leave granted.

Senator DURACK —The Opposition is very concerned that, included in this list of papers that has been presented, is item 4 which is a statement on Australia's foreign policy presented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Hayden) in the House of Representatives yesterday. The text of that statement is simply being tabled. I know that many ministerial statements have been creeping into the list of papers that is tabled which I think is a bad precedent. Ministerial statements should be made separately to give honourable senators the opportunity to debate them immediately they are made in a full way instead of their being tabled with other papers, reports and so on in relation to which honourable senators have a very restricted opportunity to speak. Honourable senators have only five minutes to speak to these reports as there is a limited time to debate them each day. At this stage I simply register our protest at that statement being included in this list of papers.