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Wednesday, 29 May 1996
Page: 1357

Senator BOLKUS(6.48 p.m.) —Before the committee reports progress, I wish to speak for 60 seconds because Senator Vanstone just made some implications. The point I want to make is that we do understand, and we do share a commitment to the same objective. It is quite unfair of Senator Vanstone to suggest otherwise.

The implication that Senator Vanstone made is that the government has the moral high ground on this issue. We would assert that your objective is important, but so is the objective of ensuring external accountability in situations like this. We figure that the best way to provide that external accountability is to invoke the provisions of the interception act. It is not new and not radical; it is quite fair in these circumstances. We understand what you are trying to say, but we maintain that we have the same objective.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Childs) —Order! I will have to put the question.

Progress reported.