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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1275


Mr BRAITHWAITE —Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence to raise a matter of privilege.


Madam SPEAKER —Please proceed.


Mr BRAITHWAITE —I refer to an article by Roy Eccleston on page 20 of the Saturday, 21 March 1987, edition of the Melbourne Age newspaper with the headline: `Hotel bill claim angers Kelty'. I read the following excerpts from that article:

The ACTU secretary, Mr Bill Kelty, denied yesterday that he had claimed more than he spent on hotel accommodation during a trip to Europe last year partly sponsored by the Government.

. . . .

The Opposition trade spokesman, Mr Braithwaite, asked during question time on Thursday and again yesterday whether Mr Kelty had overstated his Swedish hotel bill by $200, and also overstated other hotel bills.

. . . .

Mr Kelty told `The Age' yesterday that the department had made a mistake. He said he had paid the Swedish bill partly by credit card, which came to just under $600, and the rest in cash. The total cost was about $1000.

He said he had notified his legal advisers and would sue Mr Braithwaite or anyone else who said he had claimed more than he had spent.

I refer honourable members to Pettifer's House of Representatives Practice and the chapter headed: `Attempts by improper means to influence Members in their parliamentary conduct' and particularly to the part headed `Attempted intimidation of Members', and I refer particularly to the case of Browne and Fitzpatrick of 8 June 1955. The questions that I asked in this House resulted from requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and I believe that Mr Kelty did overstate his hotel bills, although Mr Kelty denies this. Clearly what Mr Kelty has been reported as saying is an attempt to intimidate me as a parliamentarian or indeed any parliamentarian who has quite properly drawn to the attention of the Parliament matters of a questionable nature.


Madam SPEAKER —I tell the honourable member for Dawson that I will consider the matters he has raised and report to the House at the earliest possible opportunity.