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Monday, 25 September 1995
Page: 1345


Senator GARETH EVANS —I also take this opportunity to respond to a question asked of me by Senator Panizza on 29 June about the legal costs of Mr Graeme Campbell in relation to defamation action which has been brought against him. I give Senator Panizza the following reply to the question he asked me on 29 June.

  I am informed that the libel case referred to was a case brought by the Western Australia Director of Public Prosecutions against the member for Kalgoorlie, Mr Campbell, rising out of comments allegedly made by Mr Campbell about an investigation by the Western Australia police into a matter concerning a member of the director's family. I understand the police investigation related to a state matter and did not relate to any federal matters.

  It is clear from what I have just said that Mr Campbell's case is quite different from Dr Lawrence's case, which involves an attack on Dr Lawrence in her capacity as a federal government minister. It does not appear that the allegations, the subject of the defamation claim against Mr Campbell, were made by him in the performance of his federal electorate duties on behalf of his constituents. In all the circumstances, there appears to be insufficient federal connection to warrant consideration of Commonwealth funding of Mr Campbell's defence. By way of completeness, I note that Mr Campbell has not applied for Commonwealth funding on this matter.