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Tuesday, 22 February 1977

Mr Garrick asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Government ordered Telecom Australia to cease passing on messages it receives in Darwin from the Fretilin transmitter in Timor.

(2)   If so, does this mean that this particular group now has no access to the outside world.

(3)   Will the Government take any action at all to allow the world to know what is happening behind the curtain of secrecy being maintained in Timor.

Mr Eric Robinson (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) For some time Telecom Australia passed on messages received on Outpost Radio in Darwin which purported to emanate from Fretilin forces in East Timor. These messages could not be vouched for as authentic and addressess were notified of this by Telecom. The Government has asked Telecom to cease passing on these unauthenticated messages.

(2)   and (3) The issues raised in these questions are not matters included in my responsibilities.

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