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Wednesday, 19 May 1993
Page: 871

Senator ALSTON (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) —by leave—As I understand it, the Minister's commitment—

Senator McMullan —Come on!

Senator ALSTON —This is quite an important matter and it has not been properly clarified. As I understand it, the Minister's commitment was to make available to the Senate that part of Professor Pearce's terms of reference that relates to the satellite inquiry and to do that `as soon as possible'. If the report was received by the secretary today—

Senator Collins —I don't know that it was. You have better information than I have. I don't know that.

Senator ALSTON —If that turns out to be the case, then next Monday would be four days from the receipt of that document. If the report is presently in the hands of the department, then I ask the Minister to proceed on the basis that `as soon as possible' enables the Minister to table it tomorrow. That is all. It is for the Minister to discover whether the report is with the secretary. If it is with him today, then `as soon as possible' should mean within 24 hours.