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Monday, 16 March 2009
Page: 1558

Senator LUDWIG (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3:17 PM) —I speak on behalf of and represent Senator Carr, Senator Sherry and Senator Conroy. Ministers have busy schedules. In relation to procedural matters like this, it is not unusual for the Manager of Government Business in the Senate to respond on behalf of other senators.

As I indicated during my answer to an earlier question, we take answering questions seriously. We have been looking at how we can provide some of those responses. The questions range quite widely across many portfolios. It requires an amount of work on behalf of the government to provide answers. We are happy to undertake that work, unlike the previous government, which appears—from the statistics that Senator Evans read out—to have not been happy to undertake the work, or perhaps it was not happy with the transparency and scrutiny that otherwise would have been provided had they answered those questions. We have undertaken to examine those questions and ensure that answers are provided.