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Monday, 28 October 1996
Page: 5884


Mr GARETH EVANS —My question is directed to the Attorney-General, who might be contemplating his time at the moment. Since his answer on 10 October on the gun control advertising issue, has the Attorney-General sought to establish once and for all with his staff member, Ms Melanie Granger, whether she did in fact say during the ministerial committee meeting, `Daryl prefers DDB'? Further, has the Attorney-General taken steps to reconcile the statement of the ACT police minister that there was no dissent about the decision with the action of the New South Wales police minister in walking out of the meeting in disgust and the Prime Minister's assertion that at least two former Liberal Party state directors voted against DDB Needham? Attorney, in order to resolve these issues and inconsistencies, will you now table the minutes of the ministerial committee meeting? While you are about it, will you also table the advice you were sent by your department on the quality of the submissions prior to that meeting?


Mr WILLIAMS —I have clarified the arrangements. I explained on 10 October exactly what occurred.


Mr Gareth Evans —Did she say it or not?


Mr WILLIAMS —There are various versions floating about in the ether as to what was actually said. I can tell you precisely what the arrangement was with her—and she carried it out. I did not express a preference. I expressly explained to her I was not in a position to express a preference for any of the firms that were presenting on that night.

You mentioned Paul Whelan, the police minister for New South Wales, a member of the Labor government of New South Wales. He was involved in all the presentation. Except he ran out of time. He had had a busy day and he decided to leave before things got finalised. He did not go out in disgust. He left because he ran out of time. He wanted to catch his charter plane back to Sydney. You keep trying to find smoke. You cannot find smoke, much less fire. There is nothing in it.


Mr Gareth Evans —Will you table the advice?


Mr Crean —Did she say it?


Mr WILLIAMS —No.