Senate debates

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Questions without Notice: Additional Answers

Religious Freedom Review

3:53 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications and the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

I table a response to a question taken on notice by Senator Cormann during question time on 17 October 2018, asked by Senator Farrell, relating to the final report from the Religious Freedom Review Expert Panel. I seek leave to have the document incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows—

Dear Mr President

I write with regard to a question I took on notice from Senator Farrell on Wednesday 17 October, on the matter of Cabinet's consideration of the Final Report from the Religious Freedom Review Expert Panel.

As stated in the Cabinet Handbook (11th edition) at paragraph 25, "The principle of collective responsibility requires the strict confidentiality of all Cabinet proceedings and documentation."

In relation to Senator Farrell's final supplementary question, as the Prime Minister has stated in the House of Representatives, his focus is on dealing with the very important issues around religious freedoms in an orderly way and in a way that is respectful to all participants.

I have copied this letter to the Prime Minister and Senator Farrell.

Kind regards

Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance and the Public Service

October 2018