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Tuesday, 13 June 1989
Page: 3907


Senator WALTERS —by leave-The Minister for Resources (Senator Cook) has said, `Let's act spontaneously'. I have never heard such rubbish in all my life. We have before the Senate a health Bill, the Community Services and Health Legislation Amendment Bill 1989. The Australian Democrats have put forward some rubbishy amendment and the Minister asks that we respond spontaneously. I have never heard such drivel in all my life. The Minister has not costed the proposal, as Senator Boswell so rightly says. The Minister has no idea what he is letting the Government in for, no idea of the commitment he proposes to give. He does not know whether he is making a commitment to the midwife or a commitment to the mother. He does not know what he is doing. He merely says, `Let's act spontaneously'.

I have a horrible feeling that Dr Blewett will not like it at all. I have a horrible feeling that the Minister will be answering to Dr Blewett, who has been trying in all his legislation to cut costs. But the Minister here stands up and says, `Let's act spontaneously', which could cost the Government a considerable amount of money and, indeed, it could cost a lot of lives. I am quite appalled by the Minister's lack of responsibility. I can assure him that, were former Senator Grimes here, he would be horrified and the Minister would not be acting in this way.