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Wednesday, 8 June 1994
Page: 1549

Senator KERNOT (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (7.18 p.m.) —I wish to table documents in relation to an anonymous document entitled, `Confidential Submission re: the Dismissal of Pamela Bornhorst from the Queensland Edition of the 7.30 Report and from the ABC', which was tabled on 2 June by Senator Chamarette. I have shown copies of these documents to the minister and to Senator Margetts. I seek leave to table those documents.

  Leave granted.

Senator KERNOT —Having now read the document of 2 June I believe it to be defamatory of many of those named in it, and those people have very little opportunity to respond to the damaging allegations. The following letters have been written to Senator Chamarette and copies of them have been given to me by their authors, and they are letters from Mr David Hill, Mr Philip Chubb, Ms Jan McGrath and one from eight women employed in key positions in ABC TV.

  The second matter I want to speak about tonight is the leaking of the print media inquiry report. As most senators would be aware, today's Sydney Morning Herald and the Herald-Sun carried prominent reports of the interim findings of the print media inquiry. Both stories gave details of the majority report and the dissenting report of government senators on the committee. Given that the interim report is not due to be tabled until tomorrow, this leak raises obvious concerns that a contempt of the Senate has been committed. Earlier today I wrote to the committee secretary, Richard Gilbert, asking him to provide a chronology of the distribution of the majority report, the dissenting report and my reservation. Mr Gilbert has provided me with that chronology, which I now seek leave to table, along with my letter to Mr Gilbert.

  Leave granted.

Senator KERNOT —I do not intend to draw conclusions from the chronology at this stage. I simply leave it to honourable senators and others to draw their own conclusions.