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Wednesday, 17 November 1976
Page: 2826

Mr COHEN (Robertson) - I want to raise a matter concerning an article that appeared in this evening's Adelaide News written by a man- I will not give the title of gentleman because we have had to suffer this man's deceit over a long period in this House- by the name of Trevor Kavanough. I think if we are looking for a prize Press idiot, this man would take the cake. I have had to quote from his articles before in the House. Either he is an idiot or he is an outright liar. He consistently reports, so-called, in the newspaper things that do not happen and things in which there is absolutely no element of truth- things which are totally the creation of his fantasy. I recall that some months ago I sent him a telegram concerning an article about the first Caucus meeting after the election. But tonight I understand that the Adelaide News carried a headline 'Shadow Cabinet in Switch on Uranium' written by Mr Kavanough. The article indicates, according to him, that the policy put by the shadow Minister, Mr Keating, was defeated and 'represents a major victory for the Caucus left wing'- whatever that may be- 'and for the anti-uranium lobby'. The article went on to state:

Mr Keatingin a 24 page statement proposed that

Mr Shipton - Tell us the truth. Give us the story.

Mr COHEN -Why do honourable members opposite not listen and stop acting like the clowns they are. They should listen and they might learn something. He stated:

Mr Keatingin a 24 page statement proposed that Labor should continue with its decision to honour contractual agreements made by the Gorton and McMahon Governments and agreed to by the Whitlam Government.

According to Mr Kavanough, Mr Keating 's proposals were defeated. After the Caucus meeting this morning, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr E. G. Whitlam, released a copy of the resolution moved by Senator Button and seconded by Mr

Keating. After the caucus meeting this information was relayed to members of the Press and it included the names ofthe mover and seconder of the motion. The resolution was as follows:

That it is the opinion of the Parliamentary Labor Party following the publication of the Fox Report on uranium mining and the Fraser Government's decision of 1 1 November 1976

1.   That existing contracts for uranium mining should be honoured, provided that no new mining developments are permitted to take place;

2.   That the Labor Party should continually press for stricter international safeguards and controls over the handling of nuclear materials;

3.   That it be made clear that the next Labor Government will not be bound to honour any future contracts entered into by the present Government;

4.   That if, in Government, the Labor Party is satisfied that the hazards associated with nuclear power have been eliminated and satisfactory methods of waste disposal developed the question of uranium mining be re-considered in the context of full public debate; and

5.   That the Fraser Government deserves the utmost condemnation for its haste in announcing decisions on the mining of uranium without giving the Australian community dme in which to debate this highly important subject, thereby disregarding the Commission of Inquiry's final recommendation.

That was the resolution moved by Senator Button, seconded by Mr Keating and announced by the Leader of the Australian Labor Party. How this clown, who to use his own words was being groomed for obscurity until a leader writer was suddenly needed here in Canberra and who finished up as the leader writer for the Daily Mirror and, I gather, the Adelaide News, could possibly get a story like that if he attended the Leader's briefing is beyond my belief. According to him also, Mr Keating will not even be allowed to speak in the debate which starts tomorrow; a whole group of other people will speak when the debate commences. This will be a whole group of people who are opposed to Mr Keating 's views. All I can say is that if this is the sort of defeat that Mr Keating has had, I hope he keeps on getting beaten, time and again. It is about time that something was done about the total misreporting of people like Kavanough who cannot write a line about the events in this place that is not totally distorted, whether it concerns the Opposition or the Government. It is not interpretive writing. Members of the Press are entitled to interpret events how they like. But total misreporting does no credit to this place or to the members of the Press Gallery.

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