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Thursday, 15 June 1989
Page: 4075

Senator WATSON(11.12) —I was wondering whether we should move to report progress because the Minister for Finance (Senator Walsh), who is in charge of the Bill, is not here to answer the questions and to respond to the issues which have been raised. Senator Tate, do you intend to respond? If you do it might be necessary for you--

Senator Tate —I am not going to take directions from you.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Teague) —Order! Senator Watson, please address your remarks through the Chair.

Senator WATSON —We have a fairly unsatisfactory situation. I understood that Senator Walsh was in charge of this set of very complex Bills. They are difficult. They will need fairly detailed responses from an informed person. While I have the utmost respect for Senator Tate, the details that are involved in these Bills are issues that require some study and background. Senator Walsh has that background. I ask whether the Government intends to have Senator Walsh here for the carriage of these Bills, or whether we are to have a plethora of Ministers who will not be able to respond to the vital issues that are being raised in relation to a taxation system which is affecting millions of people around Australia. I do not think it is good enough. May we have the Minister's response?