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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 5069


Senator ROBERT RAY(3.07 p.m.) —by leave—Three points should be made to Senator Kemp and those others responsible. The first is that I think the intention would be for those documents to be available before the estimates committee, with DAS before it, resumes at 8.15 on Thursday night, because they are relevant to that. The second is that it is my understanding that all the documents, in any event, were taken to Minister Jull's office, with or without inventory, some time ago. So they should all have been collected together.

The third point I want to make to Senator Kemp is that in this case those documents are stamped commercial in confidence but it is a very long bow to draw that they should not be tabled in this place because it is not a contract based on price. There is nothing in those documents, to my knowledge, that really justifies commercial-in-confidence cover, unlike any other documents that you may be well entitled to refuse. I again make the point that you should make every effort to get those to the Senate, preferably by tomorrow, so people can prepare and examine them—and, who knows, they may well clear the government in certain aspects—before the estimates committee hearing starts on Thursday night.