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Wednesday, 14 June 1989
Page: 3948


Senator COOK (Minister for Resources)(10.37) —I believe that I have answered the questions that have been put to me as fully and reasonably as can be expected on this occasion. However, I do note that the Opposition is engaging in some sort of facile attempt to conduct an inquiry when, against the Government's will, this chamber has decided that there shall be an inquiry by a Senate select committee. We have undertaken to reply to Senator Patterson's questions, and we shall do so. Some other questions require us to supply more information and we will obtain that. But to conduct an inquiry now and to duplicate it later would be a tremendous waste of this chamber's time.

Honourable senators opposite are clearly trying to massage into the consciousness of Australians that there is something grievously wrong with the Government's handling of the health portfolio. That is not true. If they want to do the bidding of the Australian Medical Association, they may, but I will not facilitate them in that. I propose to refer any other questions the Opposition has in this area to the Minister. No doubt he will reply in due course.