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Tuesday, 11 May 1993
Page: 374


Senator CHAPMAN —My question is directed to the Minister for Transport and Communications. How can the Minister justify claiming that the inquiry into the pay TV tendering process is independent when today's print media claim that the terms of reference were drawn up by the secretary to the department being investigated? Is this so? If it is, why did the Minister mislead the Senate yesterday by saying that the terms of reference had been drawn up by the independent inquirer, Professor Dennis Pearce? How can the Minister claim that this inquiry will clear up the matter when it does not address the vital question of whether the Minister duly fulfilled his ministerial responsibility in signing a document without reading it?


Senator COLLINS —I was going to table this later in Question Time, but I will do it now. I table the letter from the secretary to my department to me, which outlines the terms of reference, and my reply, which makes the situation clear.


Senator Hill —How does that answer the question?


Senator COLLINS —Read it.


Senator CHAPMAN —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Would the Minister please, as well as tabling those documents, table the `pinks' of his answer to Senator McKiernan's question in Question Time yesterday?


Senator COLLINS —I know that Senator Chapman has been here only a short time, but they are available from Hansard.