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Thursday, 3 November 1983
Page: 2292

Mr PEACOCK —My question is to the Special Minister of State. But I simply say, in regard to the earlier question I asked the Foreign Minister, that I thank him for the information he conveyed to the House. I have had the broad terms of the resolution put before me before I came in, and that follow-up action I appreciate. I add that, had I been Foreign Minister, I would have directed a vote against the resolution. I ask the Special Minister of State whether he is aware of the following statement on corruption in New South Wales made by Premier Wran in an interview with Channel 10 Sydney, reported in today's Australian newspaper and replayed on this morning's AM program:

I had what you might call a briefing, just like Senator Chipp.

I ask the Minister to advise the House who has been briefed on the contents of these highly sensitive Federal Police transcripts and not just advised as I was as to intercept dates and that no information was gathered. Who has been briefed on the contents of these highly sensitive Federal Police transcripts?

Mr BEAZLEY —I am aware that last night Premier Wran made certain statements. I have not in fact seen that particular aspect of the statement. Senator Chipp has received a briefing on the matters, to my recollection not dissimilar to the one the Leader of the Opposition received.

Mr Peacock —That is dates and lifting--

Mr BEAZLEY —On dates and lifting of taps and the like. I cannot exactly recollect from the occasion when that briefing was given the extent of the course of discussion with him. It may have been more extensive than that. I think it occurred at a later date than the Leader of the Opposition's briefing. In response to some of the points he put to us we gave him a more extensive briefing than the Leader of the Opposition received. I am now relying on my memory in that regard but I think that is the case. In the circumstances I think that is wholly appropriate. I think it is appropriate that the Leader of the Opposition was briefed. If he wishes to be briefed to the extent that Senator Chipp was, that would be appropriate too.

Mr Anthony —Does he get privilege over the Leader of the Opposition?

Mr BEAZLEY —No. My recollection is that the briefing he received was substantially the same as the briefing the Leader of the Opposition received though likely to have been a little more extensive, occurring as it did at a later date.