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Thursday, 17 September 2015
Page: 7126

Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (12:16): Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WONG: I would make a couple of points in relation to the propositions put by the Manager of Government Business in the Senate. Firstly, the agreement and side letter in question involve significant amounts of money and significant matters of public administration. They involve, on the basis of Senator Canavan's public statement, $2 billion to $4 billion worth of expenditure. They involve the transfer of the administration of the water portfolio to Mr Barnaby Joyce, something that South Australians are concerned about. They go to the expenditure of public moneys, and I think the Australian people are entitled to know what the detail of that agreement is.

Secondly, I do not agree with the proposition, nor does precedent in this chamber support the proposition, that orders for the production of documents can only be in the narrow terms defined by the Manager of Government Business in the Senate.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Moore be agreed to.