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Friday, 1 June 1984
Page: 2384

Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(3.29) —There is a formal arrangement in place in relation to Professor Harding, whose circumstances were different from those of Mr Temby to the extent that Professor Harding had a family in Perth which could not, for reasons that I will not go into, come to Canberra for a period of 12 months. It was desired to make an arrangement whereby Professor Harding, while operating out of Canberra, could make visits at monthly intervals to his home and family on condition that in each such monthly period there was no reciprocal visit to Canberra by his wife. I think provision is made for two trips to Canberra for his wife in order to make arrangements for the purchase or rental of a home for the second year and subsequently, but that is as far as it went. After that first year's travel arrangement there was to be no travel entitlement as such; it was strictly a 12 months transitional arrangement based on these particular circumstances and clearly in lieu of any other decision which might have been made by the Government to confer something of the nature of a Canberra allowance for the occupant of this position. As Senator Durack will well know, special arrangements are made in relation to appointees from overseas. There was a large and high class field of applicants from overseas for this position and under the circumstances it was felt desirable to appoint Professor Harding, whatever Senator Durack might think of his fellow Western Australian, and it was thought appropriate, in order to be able to attract the services of Professor Harding, to make the particular arrangement to which I have referred. Formal terms and conditions exist in writing, and I am happy now to table those for Senator Durack's edification.