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Wednesday, 6 May 1987
Page: 2391

Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It refers to the separate visits of Mr David Hill and Mr Hayden to Indonesia and to discussions seeking the reaccreditation of Australian journalists to that country. I ask: What terms of settlement were put forward, first, by Mr Hill or, secondly, by Mr Hayden? Is it a fact that Mr Hill indicated that if Indonesia re-established accreditation he would undertake that Radio Australia would not report upon Indonesian domestic matters? If the Minister does not know the answer to this question, will he ascertain the facts and inform the Senate? Will the Government support a settlement on such terms? Has the Government had any discussions with Mr Hill or any others in consideration of such terms or other terms? Finally, somewhat plaintively, may I have an answer to the question of the Minister which has been outstanding for six weeks?

Senator BUTTON —Insofar as the last part of the question is concerned, I will certainly see whether that answer can be speeded up. I do not have a detailed briefing on the principal part of the question which has been addressed to me. I know that Mr Hayden had discussions with Dr Mochtar in which the question of Australian journalists was given considerable prominence. I think it has now been a matter of Press reporting here that the Indonesian Government is considering the restrictions placed on the entry of journalists into Indonesia. Insofar as the involvement of Mr David Hill of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in discussions is concerned, I have no information at all at this stage, although I might offer a personal view that Mr Hill might have to visit a few countries.