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Thursday, 28 March 1985
Page: 1006

Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK(6.11) —I wish to follow up the broad question I asked. As I understand the exposition of the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans), I am very concerned. It seems that he says the Government is looking for a policeman to come forward voluntarily, that policeman not knowing whether he will be tested to get indemnity or not, that policeman having to make a decision himself to come forward so that the evidence can become available. It is obvious that the majority of policemen might very well say they will not take the risk. Why should they take the risk?

Senator Gareth Evans —They already have come forward.

Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —Let the Minister pause for a minute or two. Surely if we are bona fide in setting up a royal commission, what we want is for all policemen who have been connected with those tapes to come forward and to tell the royal commission why they taped it, what their motive was in making those tapes, good or otherwise? That is what we want. We want them to be able to come forward without restraint. If we want the royal commission really to look at what those tapes are about the obvious thing to do is to pursue the greater evil. Surely that is the test? The test that has been suggested in granting indemnity is that we give indemnity to the lesser evil to pursue the greater evil. Surely if we want to do that and to test the tapes then we have to leave in the minds of all those policemen the fact that if they come forward they do not voluntarily put themselves in peril. That is a principle, anyhow, that is dear to the heart of justice. Why should we be now saying to them: 'If you come forward you can voluntarily put yourself in peril'. I would like that clarified.