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Friday, 31 May 1996
Page: 1545

Senator HILL (Minister for the Environment)(12.48 p.m.) —With respect, the problem is that you have adopted a new process. We are not seeking to avoid answering your questions. What I am saying is that there is a more efficient way in which this can be done, a more productive way, a way in which you will get better information and a way which also will allow the parliament to get on with its very large program.

Senator Margetts —What is the process you are offering?

Senator HILL —That is the offer I have made to you. We will provide answers to your questions as quickly as possible; we will deliver them in the form that you require. Without infringing on the development of the new budget process—which I am sure you would not want us to do—we will hopefully be able to provide the sort of detail that you want. We want to be cooperative. I do not know what has happened in the past, but we are not standing here saying that you are not entitled to ask these questions. We are giving you a better way of getting the information and a better way to facilitate debate of the total program, not just this bill.