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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL LINE--PROPOSED AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORT--ORDER FOR
PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENT

Motion determined as not formal: Senator Gibson requested that General

Business notice of motion no. 1105 standing in his name for this day,

relating to an order for the production of a report by the

Auditor-General on the Australian National Line, be taken as formal.

An objection was raised and the motion was not proceeded with as a

formal motion.

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Gibson, at the request of the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Hill) and pursuant to

contingent notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be

suspended as would prevent Senator Hill moving a motion relating to the

conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to give

precedence to General Business notice of motion no. 1105 standing in the

name of Senator Gibson for this day, relating to an order for the

production of a report by the Auditor-General on the Australian National

Line.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

Senator Gibson, at the request of Senator Hill, moved--That General

Business notice of motion no. 1105 standing in the name of Senator

Gibson for this day, relating to an order for the production of a report

by the Auditor-General on the Australian National Line, may be moved

immediately and have precedence over all other business this day till

determined.

Question put and passed.

Senator Gibson moved--

(1) That the Senate notes that:

(a) there is now available, in the public domain or

otherwise, material relating to the current financial

position of the Australian National Line (ANL);

(b) this includes:

(i) the Salomon Brothers/Price Waterhouse report which

was commissioned by the Task Force on Asset Sales B,

and which valued ANL at between minus $75 million and

minus $118 million,

(ii) ANL's 1993 annual report which includes the audited

financial statements for the year ended 30 June 1993,

and

(iii) information and reports prepared by management and/or

the former board of ANL regarding ANL's future

financial viability and valuation which valued ANL at

between break even and $33 million;

(c) this material is a source of confusion to the

Parliament, policy advisers and the public as to the

commercial value of ANL; and

(d) without clarification of the purpose of this material

and the context in which it should be examined, the

Senate is unable to assess accurately the implications

of the policy decisions made with respect to ANL in

recent times.

(2) That to obtain information to allow the Parliament and the

public to make an informed assessment of ANL's financial

position, the Senate resolves that there be laid on the table,

as soon as practicable, a report by the Auditor-General which

takes into account, as far as is necessary, the material

described in paragraph (1)(b) and any other information which

the Auditor-General requires and is authorised or empowered to

obtain, and addresses the following matters:

(a) the purpose of the Salomon Brothers/PriceWaterhouse

report;

(b) the purpose of ANL's financial statements and the audit

report on them; and

(c) any other matters which the Auditor-General believes

are relevant.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.