Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Statement by the President

Members of Parliament: Staff

9:33 am

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—Senator Waters, I understand your concerns. We have to respect that the Presiding Officers are bound by decisions made through the various procedures of the parliament and do need to act in accordance with those. The government has sought and will continue to seek to cooperate as fully and as expeditiously as possible in terms of information requested. When you first asked these questions, we provided a swift response, with the cooperation of the Presiding Officers, in relation to whether or not a pass had been issued. That was capable of being done within the rules that were established, noting that the technology and records in relation to the allocation of passes enabled a swift answer to be provided.

The manual and physical process of signing individuals in is obviously governed through different arrangements, but it also creates additional difficulties in terms of physically ascertaining that information. I'm not aware that there's any particular information that says the individual has ever been signed in. The government will continue to cooperate as best we possibly can through all of these processes to get swift answers to these matters, but I would stress that to date we have provided as much information as is actually available in relation to passes and access, and will continue to do so where we can.


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