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Tuesday, 14 December 1993
Page: 4506

Senator ROBERT RAY (Minister for Defence) —I will draw Senator McMullan's attention to the fact that Senator Macdonald has again raised this issue. If Senator Macdonald has an expectation that a minister will attend an hour of question time and then hang around while we go into all the other dross around the place until a quarter to four, there is a difficulty. But I also recognise that there is a difficulty in that Senator Macdonald requires an answer.

  It may be necessary to look at when these matters are raised—that is not Senator Macdonald's fault at all—so that ministers can be available to answer them at that time. But I think it is unreasonable to expect a minister to sit here for what would have been 43 minutes to answer that question while we went on with all the other stuff. There are other activities required of people in the executive government. I will draw this to the minister's attention when I finish my chamber duty.