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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3225

Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(3.55) —I want to get one fact clarified by a question to the Government which would assist honourable senators in determining whether they should agree with the view put about a delay. I seek leave to ask a question.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —You are entitled to speak without leave.

Senator CHANEY —Can the Government clarify the point, which seems to be under some doubt, about whether a decision is required today if the Senate is to have any influence on the matter? I understand that the architects have given certain advice, namely, that the matter is too far advanced. On the other hand, the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans) has indicated, I understand to Senator Crichton-Browne, that it is not at a point of final decision and that we could consider the matter next year. I think clearly if we had an assurance that the design would not be finalised and that we would be in a position to have an influence on that design when we return that would be a much more satisfactory position. I wonder whether any honourable senator is in a position to clarify that for us.