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Thursday, 12 September 1996
Page: 3377

Senator BOB COLLINS(11.39 a.m.) —If I could just press Sir Humphrey once more, and I know when I am licked. As Senator Tambling knows full well, that longwinded exposition does not actually advance our knowledge on this thing by one single centimetre.

If the Commonwealth does do this, and if it does not do that, these things might happen. We certainly know what the predisposition of the states is. That is the one piece of information Senator Tambling read out which is correct. But that is all contingent on what we do not know—that is, what the position of the Commonwealth might be, whether it will want to keep to itself, for example, the question of casino operations on airport terminals and gambling. But as I say, I know when I am licked.

There is one further question that I do want to ask. I assumed that if we had passed this legislation last night—which I was expecting we would—we would have been back in here today re-amending it with Perth. Is the inclusion of Perth now likely to have any financial impact on the leases, and has any work been done in determining whether there is likely to be an impact—which, clearly, if there is going to be an impact, would be a negative impact—on the sale?

Senator Tambling —In response to Senator Collins's specific question, I am advised that it is not anticipated that it would have any significant impact of a financial nature.

Senator BOB COLLINS —Can I just press Senator Tambling only once more on this. Was this on the basis of an off the top of the head remark from the minister or the head of his department? Was there actually an examination made by somebody competent to know whether there would be a financial impact or was this simply a reassuring statement to make in the Senate during the passage of the legislation?

Senator Tambling —I would indicate that my answer was on the basis of advice from the airport sales task force.