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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3172

Mr LEO McLEAY —I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr LEO McLEAY —I do. On Monday of this week the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Expenditure of which I am the Chairman held hearings in this House relating to Commonwealth payments to athletes for the 1980 Olympic Games. Two witnesses gave evidence at the public hearing of the Committee. They were Mr John Coates, who was the New South Wales delegate to the Australian Olympic Federation, and the Secretary of the Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism.

It has been incorrectly reported in the papers that I revealed confidential information that was given by Mr Coates to a private hearing of the Committee. That is, in fact, not so. Mr Coates gave public evidence at a public hearing of the Committee that, in his opinion, those athletes who received those payments would have breached the International Olympic Charter. That evidence was not given at a private meeting of the Committee and it was quite proper, in my view, for that information to be communicated to the public. I stress once again that the accusation that that evidence was given in private is in fact incorrect.