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Tuesday, 31 May 1994
Page: 924

Senator PARER (3.25 p.m.) —Senator Bolkus has totally avoided the questions asked in this place, and I will tell the chamber why. I made it perfectly clear in the first question I asked on the matter—which did not name anybody—and I think it was asked of Senator Gareth Evans. The question I asked was based on this: a report had come to me that the National Crime Authority, or the Australian Federal Police, or both were investigating organised crime in Australia. In the process of that investigation there was a by-product—the by-product to which Senator Bolkus has now referred. It related to a state matter which was the observance of a senior ALP figure being involved with prostitutes on the Gold Coast on a number of occasions—not just one occasion. The question was asked as to whether this was paid for by the organised criminals from New South Wales.

  That is the very matter that Senator Bolkus has ducked and weaved on. He should not be surprised that, as time goes by, there will be more and more questions until this government comes clean. I believed Senator Evans when he responded to my question, because he certainly did not know the answer at the time, but, subsequently, questions were asked of Senator Bolkus in his role as Minister representing the Attorney-General. I would like to point out that this matter cannot be kept under wraps forever. If it is not something that eventually the government comes clean about, instead of ducking and weaving on the matter, it would appear that it will inevitably come out anyway from the—

Senator Abetz —Like it did with Brian Burke.

Senator PARER —Exactly.

Senator Gareth Evans —You made fools of yourselves on the Love Boat thing and you will make fools of yourselves on this.

Senator PARER —Does everyone remember the defence by Senator Evans of Brian Burke—the extravagant language used by Senator Evans in the defence of Brian Burke—his scurrilous accusations against the opposition? And guess who ended up with egg all over his face? Senator Evans.