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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3230

Senator BROWN(11.20 a.m.) —That is an intriguing proposition.

Senator Bob Collins —Commonsense, I would have thought.

Senator Kernot —That is how it works here.

Senator BROWN —I do not need advice on how it works here, Senator Kernot. I am just using commonsense, if you would let me finish. It is the minister who ought to be providing this information. Earlier in this committee, in response to questioning from Senator Margetts, the minister said that no information had gone out. He was wrong. We now find that information had gone out.

Senator Margetts is saying that the community are informing her, through her office—from goodness knows where in Australia; presumably because they are listening to the broadcast of these proceedings—that there is information available. I do not want to say that the minister has misled the committee, but that is how it sounded to me when he said at the outset that there was not information. We now know that there is.

Let the minister provide this committee with all the information that has gone out as a prelude to this election to inform nominees, so that we do exactly know and so that this committee is properly informed in deliberating on this matter. That is the government's responsibility. That is the minister's responsibility. At the moment we are dependent on the information that Senator Margetts is getting, but that is not the proper way for this committee to be functioning.