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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 3725


Mr SINCLAIR (Manager of Opposition Business)(10.03) —The Leader of the House (Mr Young) has moved a motion which has the support of members of the Opposition. Our only concern is that the proper opportunities for making privileged statements within this Parliament be protected, not that those statements, having been made, should be denied for production in proceedings where properly they are matters before the court. There has been on a number of occasions concern expressed about the degree to which proceedings here are seen as being privileged and hence not available in forums outside this place. The most recent and most notable example, of course, is in respect of the inquiry into the affairs of the late Mr Justice Murphy. It is difficult to establish a common procedure and practice which ensures that matters raised here, properly and within the responsibilities of members, are available where they should be available.

It is always true that, as a result of publicity accorded matters within this place, the public at large has access to whatever statements we make-and properly so-but when we look at the requirements of courts we see that a different status is given to Hansard and the reports of proceedings. It is for that reason that it is necessary that a motion of this character be passed by the House. The Opposition does not object to the proceedings in this instance and commends the Leader of the House for having moved the motion in this way.

Question resolved in the affirmative.