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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1076

Mr TUCKEY —Is the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, a director of the Parramatta Police Citizens and Boys Club, a sport and recreation club? Is he aware of the charges laid against a former office holder of that club? Is this the same person whom the Minister defended against allegations of embezzlement during the grievance debate in this House on 24 September 1981? If so, does the Minister now consider that his directorship represents a conflict of interest with his ministerial responsibilities? Does he still stand by his speech of 24 September 1981?

Mr JOHN BROWN —I think that is about the level of a question we would expect from the member. I can answer with frankness every issue that he has canvassed. I am a very proud director of that very important establishment within my electorate which does an extraordinary amount of good work for young people. I did stand up in this House and defend the supervisor of that club. I defended him on the grounds of a report that had been issued by the internal audit section of the New South Wales Police Force which found him innocent of all charges. Subsequent to that more evidence has become available. Apparently he has been charged with certain offences. I will withhold my judgment on that until those charges are heard.

On the subject of the defence of Sergeant Jones I point out that, if the honourable member had bothered to read that grievance debate, he would have noted that I was defending Sergeant Jones against charges by the Press based on a speech made in the upper House in New South Wales by a very famous character assassin, Mr Derek Freeman. I think all honourable members opposite who are associated with that man politically ought to be ashamed of his record. Those charges were made prior to the charges being heard by the police. I offer no apologies whatsoever for my support of Sergeant Jones in terms of the excellent work that he has done over many years as a director of that police boys club. In fact I mentioned at that time that he was considered a hero in his own time. That is correct, because his work for the young people of Parramatta is absolutely outstanding. That that might well be nullified by subsequent events late in his career is a matter for some regret. But I do not resile in any way from the defence that I offered at that time for Sergeant Jones. I am still a director of that police boys club and I will continue to remain a director.