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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3210


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(9.53) —I have the distinction of remembering almost no law. However, I remember the case of Leahy and the Commonwealth, the famous New Guinea brothers, Mick and whatever his name was. That is a classic example of why one should not rely on that sort of statement. The Leahy brothers took notice of a statement like that made by a Minister, which statement said that the Commonwealth of Australia would give them money if they did certain things with their cattle. It was concerned with a brucellosis eradication campaign, or something of that kind. It was back in the 1930s or 1940s. Anyway, the Leahy brothers did what the Government said. They went along for their money, and the Government said, 'No, we are not going to give you any money'. They took the Government to the High Court of Australia, and the High Court said, 'Oh, that is not the law; that is just a politician's promise'.

While I welcome that statement in the second reading speech, it is not, with great respect, an answer. That was the point of my response to Senator Macklin. Within the terms of the Bill, it is manifestly obvious that there are situations which should be compensable which are not compensable. I welcome the Minister's statement of intention. I simply say that those famous Leahy brothers, who made all those films and did all those things up in New Guinea, which we all read about-I think that recently a new book about them has been published-were bitten in this way, and I am sure that they were very shy of government thereafter. I have said in this place previously, 'Put not your faith in princes'. I put no faith in Prince Holding. I would much rather see the statement of intent in the Bill.