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Howard Government dishonesty on James Hardie?



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FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WORKPLACE RELATIONS

1 September 2004

HOWARD GOVERNMENT DISHONESTY ON JAMES HARDIE?

The Howard Government must come clean following media reports today that the Dutch Government denies Howard Government claims that the Government has requested a treaty to enforce James Hardie judgments.

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has claimed that the Howard Government had been in contact with the Netherlands “in recent months” and indicated it would like a treaty.

Yet the Dutch Justice Minister denies receiving any such request. In addition, he has indicated that the Dutch Government would look favourably on such a request if it were received.

Mr Ruddock must tell the Australian people whether he has contacted the Dutch Government, who he contacted and whether he requested a treaty between the Netherlands and Australia.

Mr Ruddock must release the details of his alleged approaches to the Netherlands, or stop claiming he has made such approaches.

Labor has called for urgent negotiations for a treaty with the Netherlands in light of the James Hardie matter. Labor has also given the donations it received from James Hardie since February 2001 to asbestos victims.

Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386