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Thursday, 6 September 1984
Page: 538

Senator LEWIS —Madam Acting Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Coleman) —I call Senator Lewis.

Senator LEWIS —Senator Georges, in the course of his remarks, alleged that I came to my decision as a member of the Senate Select Committee on the Conduct of a Judge in some partisan political role. I totally deny that. I totally deny that I did not examine that evidence to the best of my ability. I say to the Senate that I honestly applied my mind to the evidence as Mr Briese gave it and as it is recorded in the transcripts, which are unfortunately not available for perusal by the Senate. I have not made similar allegations against the three Labor senators who made their decision on the basis of that evidence. But it is clearly recorded in the report, and it was the unanimous view of the Committee, that Mr Briese had given his evidence honestly and sincerely. That is not just my opinion; that was the unanimous decision of the Committee. The suggestion that it was for some base political purpose that I accepted that that evidence raised a case which put the judge in jeopardy of a conviction, and that that matter therefore ought to be resolved, is wrong.