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Wednesday, 26 May 1993
Page: 1372

Senator IAN MACDONALD (6.23 p.m.) —I have some unanswered questions but it may be more appropriate, as we did yesterday, to leave them until we get to the relevant area in the running list. They relate to the Department of Aviation and I reserve my position there.

Senator Sherry —Perhaps Senator Macdonald is not aware of the fact that we have put aviation at the end of the consideration of the programs. Senator Collins will be here for that section.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —In relation to my reservation about the national interest program, does anyone have anything further to report on the business debt owing to us by an instrumentality of the Vietnamese Government? It may be inappropriate to mention this on the day that the Prime Minister of Vietnam has visited us. Has any additional information been given with regard to the $3 million, if my memory serves me correctly, that was lent by the Australian Government to a Vietnamese government agency to buy some Australian vegetable packing equipment? The Bank of Vietnam has refused to honour the guarantee. Has there been any advance on any likelihood of our getting that money back?