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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2320

(Question No. 876)


Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 4 May 1984:

(1) Was Dr R. G. Gillis appointed by the Department of Defence as a consultant for 33 days between March and October 1983 and was he paid $5,905.

(2) When was Dr Gillis appointed, by whom, and for what reasons.

(3) Is Dr Gillis a recognised world-wide expert on chemical warfare.

(4) What project was Dr Gillis working on, and when was such a project commenced.

(5) Were any of Dr Gillis's functions or projects involved with officers of any other government; if so, which country and who was involved.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) Dr Gillis was appointed on 24 December 1982 by the Director of Materials Research Laboratories (MRL) for and on behalf of the Secretary, Department of Defence Support. When the responsibility for the administration of MRL passed to the Department of Defence in May 1983, the consultancy became a responsibility of my department. Dr Gillis was selected for the consultancy because of his lifelong association with chemical protection as a former scientist of MRL and his availability to undertake the task.

(3) Dr Gillis was for many years the head of the personnel protection group at MRL and is well recognised and respected internationally as a specialist on protection against chemicals.

(4) The project on which Dr Gillis worked was to study and produce an archival record of field trials and tests involving chemicals conducted in Australia during World War II. The study commenced in March 1983.

(5) No.