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Friday, 31 May 1996
Page: 1531

Senator SHERRY (Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)(11.35 a.m.) —I just want to make a brief comment about the questions and the response of Senator Gibson. From the Labor opposition's point of view, we took an approach to today based on the fact that we want to get the supply bills through. As Senator Gibson has said, the bills are essentially about because of the election and the budget having been deferred to August, and there is no argument between us and the government on that fact at least.

We have four or five other pieces of legislation that are listed on this special day. We believe it is important to pass the supply bills and the other legislation today. I do not support turning this process into a de facto estimates committee hearing. We do not believe that is appropriate. You should share your concerns about the issues you have raised and many more and as an opposition we will raise those concerns in question time and in a whole variety of other forums such as in speeches, et cetera. But we will not support turning this into a de facto estimates committee now. We believe we should pass the supply bills and, for that matter, the other legislation listed as business of the Senate today.