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Wednesday, 30 May 1984
Page: 2137

Senator HILL —I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Is he aware of the claim by Mr David Combe that he is still under surveillance by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation? Is it true, or is Mr Combe just being a ' damn fool', to quote the Attorney-General's description applied in another context?

Senator GARETH EVANS —There is no foundation whatever for Mr David Combe's allegations, claims, complaints or whatever in this respect. On the instructions of the Prime Minister, subsequently confirmed by me, ASIO ceased surveillance of Mr David Combe in May 1983, and the Director-General of Security has informed me that Mr Combe has not been under surveillance at any time since then. I appreciate that giving this information directly and explicitly in this way is something at odds with the standard response to inquiries of this kind about whether people are undergoing ASIO surveillance. I do not want it to be thought that this is other than a wholly exceptional answer based on the wholly exceptional circumstances of this case.