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Friday, 31 May 1996
Page: 1534

Senator BEAHAN (President of the Senate)(11.48 a.m.) —As I understand it, there is no provision in the savings that have been proposed by the five departments. What has actually happened is that submissions have been made to the Minister for Finance (Mr Fahey) from each of the separate departments, but also a global position has been put. As I understand it, that does not depend on a merger of those two departments.

But there is, as you would probably be aware, a private member's bill before the House of Representatives to merge the three departments—Joint House Department, the DPRS and the Department of the Parliamentary Library—and that is something that will have to be seriously considered in terms of meeting the total savings that are going to be faced down the track. I do not think that has been included—and I think I am right in saying this—in any proposal that is before the minister now.