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Thursday, 20 June 1996
Page: 1894

Senator CHAMARETTE —by leave—I did seek leave before to make a second comment in relation to the earlier debate, and I appreciate the cooperation of the chamber to grant me leave now. I very briefly wanted to say that I did not agree with Senator Sherry's comments that Senator Hill rushed into the chamber to rescue the debate from Senator Gibson. I remember distinctly that a quorum was called. Senator Hill, answering questions as the Minister for the Environment, entered into the debate and reiterated what Senator Gibson had given us as an assurance twice earlier in the debate. I simply want to read that quote. On page 1537 of the Hansard of Friday, 31 May, Senator Gibson said:

If you care to put your detailed questions on notice I can give you an assurance that we will endeavour to give you detailed responses over the next two weeks before we resume the next session here. That is the best I can do for you.

Again, on page 1539, he said:

But thank you for your questions that you are putting on notice, and I repeat our assurance that we will endeavour to get back to you with answers before the next fortnight.

I maintain we deserve an apology rather than abuse for asking for the government's cooperation on this matter.