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Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Page: 12611

Senator ROBERT RAY (8:41 PM) —I overlooked saying one thing. It will be the case, I suspect, that a journalist, or indeed a priest, who is subject to a warrant, fails to answer questions and is then charged under the act, will have a slightly better case to put than Senator Brown or I would as to why they failed to answer questions. I think they will have more of a defence than other citizens because that is one of the things they do. While we have the advantage of parliamentary privilege, they have a limited privilege in terms of their own professional ethics that say you cannot nominate sources et cetera. So at least at that stage, I think they will have a higher defence of their actions than the rest of the community. If they were, in fact, charged under this act for failing to answer questions, they would at least have a case to put to the judiciary.