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Thursday, 6 September 1984
Page: 618

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —Mr Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —If the matter is about something that you said in this debate, you have a right to speak.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I do not wish to get to the level of debate of the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Walsh) which is so familiar to all of us and for which he has a notorious reputation. Under the circumstances, I am moved not to defend myself but to defend the implications of his comments. I paraphrase roughly what he said. Senator Walsh said that he could understand why I represented the tax avoiders and tax evaders in Western Australia. He said that they were members of the Liberal Party and, by implication, that I was defending myself and the Party.

There is nothing in my record of voting or the manner in which I have conducted myself in Parliament to justify that comment, but the truth has never been something that has stood in the way of Senator Walsh's arguments. As Senator Janine Haines says, we should never let facts be put in the way of a good argument. Senator Walsh has persisted for some time with this argument. He seeks continually to refer to the relationship between Denis Horgan and the Liberal Party and, by implication, myself. He chooses to ignore the fact that Denis Horgan's brother is employed by the Western Australian Labor Party as the Chairman of the Western Australian Development Corporation. He was a major shareholder and decision-maker in Metro Industries Ltd and was involved in every decision it made on its tax arrangements. I take great exception to any implication that I have a special interest in tax avoidance and tax evasion.

If I were tempted, Mr Deputy President, to rely on your indulgence, I might retrace the steps of one John Dawkins, whom Senator Walsh has described in the Parliament as a close personal friend and who has demonstrably been shown not only to have avoided tax but possibly to have evaded tax.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Crichton-Browne, you may not pursue that line. You can explain only how you have been misrepresented.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I shall say no more than that, except that, in the normal, reprehensible, grubby, common, vulgar fashion which is becoming a standard and patent part of Senator Walsh, I and the people of Western Australia reject out of hand what he says.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bills read a second time.