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Thursday, 2 September 1999
Page: 9748


Mr BRERETON (9:35 AM) —I appreciate that very much, Mr Speaker. As a member of the delegation which was so outstandingly led by the member for Farrer, it is appropriate that I should make some remarks. Whilst I was not part of the convoy that Richard Carleton was following around, which was Mr Fischer's convoy, I had gone to another part of the island across in the west, Maliana, and had to return that afternoon through Liquica, the area where the Carleton incident occurred. In the whole of the day it was the only security problem that we faced directly, in that roadblocks were established after the incident and Senator Payne and I were forced to run the gauntlet of those.

Our great concern was for the many journalists and international observers who had to travel that road later on in the afternoon without the benefit of the police escorts that were afforded to us. It was an incident that marred an otherwise enormously successful Australian contribution to election day observers, journalists and the parliamentary delegation itself, and it is extremely regrettable that Richard Carleton and these antics turned what was an enormously important event in East Timor into a media circus back at home.