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Thursday, 25 November 1993
Page: 3621

Senator BOURNE (10.45 a.m.) —The Australian Democrats will support this motion. We understand that if the minutes of that meeting do not exist, we cannot expect to see them. If those other documents have been tabled—and I believe they have—that is fine. In regard to the application, privacy considerations have been considered; they are in there. We are not asking for personal details. That has been taken out. Impugning of reputations can happen and does happen without the tabling of any documents. Documents have been tabled already. I hope nobody's reputation has been impugned because there is absolutely no reason so far for anybody's reputation to be impugned. If anybody deserves to have his or her reputation impugned, it will happen later. It has not happened now, it should not have happened now and I certainly hope it has not happened now.

  We are merely asking if these documents will be put on the table. They are not being disclosed to the general public, they are not being given to the newspapers. They are being put on the table merely so that other senators can have a look at them. That is the only thing we are asking to be done. The same goes for the addresses. I do not know what Senator Patterson's reason is. One would have to ask her what her reason is for doing it, but if she has a reason to do it and she does not want to publish these addresses further than on that table, that is fine—put them up, put them on the table. If she or any other senator goes out of this place and uses them inappropriately, if she or any other senator goes out of here and harasses people in their homes, rings them up—does any of this stuff—then they should be dealt with, I should be dealt with, we all should be dealt with by the Senate for doing that. That would be an outrageous use of those addresses. Senator Patterson has a concern. We merely want these documents put on the table, so that she can have that concern allayed.

  I support these fellowships. I have no problem, we have no problem, with the current Prime Minister, the then Treasurer, having recommended them. That is a good idea. I have no problem with any senator or member recommending this sort of thing. In fact, I am considering recommending a couple myself. I do not know how far they will go, but I think it is a very good idea. This is the sort of stuff we should have. People should be innovative; people should be able to recommend people. If something as good as this gets as far as cabinet, if it gets as far as being instituted, great. We have no problem with that and we support these grants as far as they can go. We also support the motion that these documents, with the privacy considerations taken into account, be laid on the table.

  Question put:

  That the motion (Senator Patterson's) be agreed to.