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Monday, 24 March 2003
Page: 13301

Mr McCLELLAND (2:47 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Minister, can you assure the House that no member of your staff leaked to an ABC journalist the alleged contents of the national security briefing provided by ASIO last Friday to the Leader of the Opposition?

Mr DOWNER (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —Speaking for myself personally, I did not have any knowledge of the briefing. I am not the minister responsible for ASIO; the Attorney-General has responsibility for ASIO. I am not aware of anybody on my staff doing such a thing. I will check but I do not think any member of my staff would have known what happened in the briefing. In fact, I would be, to say the least, rather amazed if any member of my staff had any knowledge of the briefing, because I certainly did not.