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Tuesday, 15 March 2005
Page: 45

Senator SANTORO (3:34 PM) —I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator SANTORO —Last week in this chamber Senator Brown made some remarks about me to which I shall respond fully in due course. Senator Brown’s assertions demand deep examination and I assure the chamber and, through the chair, Senator Brown that this process is taking place. In the nature of these matters, Senator Brown’s claimed grievance will be addressed chiefly by the answer the ABC provides to the question to which he objected that I placed on notice at the conclusion of the estimates hearings. In particular, it would be constructive to read a transcript of the audio tape of the program segment that led to the initial complaint that came to me from a listener. I hope that it can be provided.

Senator Brown, again, as usual, is interested in creating a diversion. In the question that I placed on notice at the estimates hearing, I did not say I was directly quoting anyone. That is merely the self-serving, interpretive insinuation placed on the matter by Senator Brown. In fact, I was relaying what had been reported to me as the gist of a broadcast segment of the program on ABC radio’s Triple J. Last week in this place, Senator Brown, who said he was aggrieved at an affront to the Senate, failed the Senate’s own custom and practice by omitting to inform me that he proposed to speak adversely about the actions of a fellow senator. I advise the Senate that, although he did not extend that courtesy to me last week, today I informed him in advance of my intention to make this personal explanation.