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Thursday, 9 December 1993
Page: 4279


Senator HERRON (3.34 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Health (Senator Richardson), to a question without notice asked by Senator Herron this day, relating to health insurance.

The first point I make is that the Minister for Health, in his answer to my question, said that his office had supplied a copy of his speech last night. His office has still not put out a copy of his speech. We have been trying to get it. I happen to have a few friends who were present when he made his speech, and I have received a fairly accurate record of what was said. I think he had better smarten up his office. It has been unable to provide a copy, as it was unable to do when he spoke in Launceston. It took us a week, and we still did not get a copy of that speech.

  The second point I want to make is in relation to the Australian Health Insurance Association. It is in the minister's pocket at the moment, going along with his proposals. I want to refer to Senator Richardson's record and I ask the association to look at his record. In 1977 he supported Mr Hayden against Mr Whitlam. In 1982 he supported Mr Hawke against Mr Hayden. On 24 May 1991—and I refer to Mr Kelly's book—he assured Mr Hawke that there was no challenge. Six days later he was behind the release of the Kirribilli agreement as part of his destabilisation. I would not call him a backstabber, but he obviously did to those people what Brutus did to Caesar. I refer the AHIA to that. (Time expired)

  Question resolved in the affirmative.