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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 14

Senator HILL —I direct my question to the Attorney-General. I refer to the report on today's edition of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation World Today program concerning the Age tapes. Has the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Ian Temby, submitted his final report on the tapes to the Attorney? Have the Attorney or the Attorney's officers sought in any way to alter, amend or edit that report? When will the report, which was expected to be tabled in the Parliament today, be presented to the Senate? Will it be completely and wholly that report submitted to the Attorney by Mr Temby?

Senator GARETH EVANS —The report on the World Today program today was, again, it must be said, a beat-up of fairly comprehensive dimensions. The relationship between Mr Temby and myself, which was the subject of a great deal of speculation in that report, continues to be perfectly amiable, even though he occasionally expresses differences of opinion with all the robustness appropriate to an independent statutory officer. The Government will be tabling the Temby report as soon as possible. There are, however, some questions that remain to be resolved about the timing of that tabling, given the delay in the bringing down of the Senate Committee report and what I understand to be the desire of that Committee, or at least some members of it, to delay the introduction of the Temby report until the Senate Committee has completed its deliberations, and there are also questions that remain to be finally resolved about the extent, if any, of the confidentiality that it may be appropriate to afford publicly to sections of the report.

Senator HILL —I ask a supplementary question, Mr President. I remind the Attorney-General of parts of my question: Firstly, whether the Attorney or his officers have sought in any way to alter, amend or edit Mr Temby's report, and secondly, whether it will be the whole report of Mr Temby that will be tabled before the Senate.

Senator GARETH EVANS —I did not need reminding of the terms of Senator Hill's question. I chose to answer it in the way that I did. As to the first part of his supplementary question, however, I entirely resist any imputation in the terms of that question, or any implication, that in some way either I or my officers were acting in any fashion that is inappropriate. There has been complete consultation at all stages with Mr Temby. There are matters, as I have said, about aspects of the report which remain to be finally resolved.