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Wednesday, 28 November 1973

Senator Greenwood asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

(   1 ) Was any charge due to be heard in the Darwin Court of Summary Jurisdiction on 26 April 1973 dismissed by the Coun because, at the direction of the Attorney-General, no evidence was offered by the prosecution; if so, what was the charge and who was the defendant.

(2)   Was the defendant a member of the Commonwealth Public Service.

(   3 ) Who had laid the original charge.

(4)   Was there prima facie evidence sufficient to warrant the charge being laid.

(5)   Why did the Attorney-General direct that proceedings be discontinued.

Senator Murphy - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   1 ) A charge of larceny of goods to the value of $3.55 against one Noel Frederick Gamble was discontinued at my direction.

(2)   At the time, yes.

(3)   Sergeant N. J. Owens, Northern Territory Police Force laid the information.

(4)   Yes.

(5)   As Senator Greenwood would be well aware, it is very unusual for an Attorney-General to publish the reasons for not proceeding with a prosecution. After careful consideration I decided in the present case to make an exception to the usual practice because of the suggestions that some impropriety has occurred related to the fact that Mr Gamble was a member of the Public Service.

It was represented to me that the summons was issued against Mr Gamble on 29 August 1972, returnable at 2 p.m. on that day. The alleged offence was stated to have occurred on 2 1 August 1972. Mr Gamble appeared on 29 August and instructed Darwin Solicitors to act on his behalf. Mr Gamble wanted the matter dealt with at the time he was in Darwin, before his return on 30 August to Canberra. He was on sick leave prior to his retirement from the Public Service on grounds of invalidity. The case was not heard before he left Darwin. The facts put before me, if accepted by the Court, would have established a defence to the charge. Mr Gamble retired at the age of 5 5 on medical grounds and now resides in New South Wales.

On the recommendation made to me I decided that having regard to the course of the prosecution and the special circumstances, including Mr Gamble's state of health, the trouble and expense of travelling to Darwin, and the fact that he had wished the matter to be disposed of at the time when he was in Darwin, discontinuance of the proceeding would be justified.

I am assured that Mr Gamble was not known to any of the persons involved in making the recommendation to me.

Karmel Committee Recommendations: In-service Teacher Training (Question No. 445)

Senator Rae (TASMANIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice:

What number of extra teachers will be required in each State and Territory in Australia to implement the Karmel Committee's recommendations for in-service teacher training in each of the years 1974 and 1975.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister for Education has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The recommendations of the Karmel Committee concerning in-service teacher training cover four areas, viz:

(a)   General in-service training provided by employing authorities.

(b)   General in-service training developed by teachers in education centres.

(c)   Training of teacher-librarians.

(d)   Training of teachers of the handicapped.

It is not possible to provide details of the numbers of relief teachers required for (a) above, since the length of courses to be put into operation has still to be decided by the responsible bodies within each of the States and Territories. In-service training provided under (b) would in general be outside normal school hours and would not require the employment of additional teachers.

Under (c) the Karmel Committee recommended that grants be provided in 1974 and 1975 to enable 500 teachers a year to undertake library training courses of an average length of 6 months but it did not propose any standard length of course. Under (d) the Committee envisaged that 1500 teachers will have completed a 1-year training course by the end of 1975. In the cases of both (c) and (d) the appropriate authorities in the States and the Territories are to take decisions about length of courses and places available. Until these decisions are taken, estimates of the numbers of relief teachers required are not available.

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