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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 26

(Question No. 4352)

Mr Ruddock asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 19 August 1986:

(1) Has he received from Mr R. Faulkner a letter dated 29 May commenting on his answer to my question No. 2787 (Hansard, 21 May 1986, page 3702); if so, in view of the further information provided by Mr Faulkner, has he reconsidered his answer.

(2) Did his answer omit certain proceedings involving Mrs S. Faulkner from its calculations.

(3) What was the cost in present dollar value terms of the time of Commonwealth officers involved in investigating and defending these proceedings, using as a basis for the calculation the same methods used by the Minister for Territories in assessing the cost for developing proposals for ACT self government at $3 million.

(4) What was the value of Mrs Faulkner's original claim.

Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) I have received the letter referred to and I am pleased to supply the additional information set out hereunder.

(2) I am now informed that in addition to the sums mentioned in my reply to question No. 2787, an amount of $6,329.33 was expended by the Australian Legal Aid Office. The officers involved in supplying the earlier figures were unaware of the fact that legal aid had been provided other than that provided pursuant to the provisions of section 305 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

(3) As I indicated in my answer to the honourable member's previous question, this cost has not been calculated. Considerable work would be involved in providing a comprehensive answer to the question and I do not wish to deploy resources for this purpose.

(4) The writ by which Mrs Faulkner commenced proceedings against the Commonwealth and another in the High Court on 8 May 1974 did not specify the amount of damages claimed but particulars were subsequently furnished showing the total amount claimed as $1,246,852.