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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 683

Senator O'BYRNE (TASMANIA) - Has the AttorneyGeneral now been advised that Mr Johnny Golden Brown, an Aboriginal, won his case before the Full Bench of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory concerning the ordinance removing Aborigines from the precincts of Parlia ment House and that the judgment was that this ordinance never took effect? In view of the Supreme Court's decision, will the Attorney-General now apologise lo Mr Johnny Golden Brown for the Government's bungling in relation to this matter?

Senator GREENWOOD - Senator

Murphy asked me a question allied to the matters about which Senator O'Byrne has now asked me. I had not at the time completed reading the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Austraiian Capital Territory, which was delivered this afternoon, and Senator Murphy was asked to place his question on notice. I have, now completed the reading of that judgment. I would simply say that it is a fact that the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory found in favour of the applicants for an injunction to the extent that it declared the ordinance not invalid but inoperative and it declined to grant an injunction tq the persons who had sought an injunction. Indeed, Mr Justice Fox who delivered the leading judgment concluded the latter part of his judgment with these words:

In these circumstances, the 'plaintiffs have no right to go on the land or remain there for the purposes mentioned.

That indicates that although the Court took the view that there were sufficient grounds for it to declare the ordinance inoperative but not invalid, the Court nevertheless was not prepared to acknowledge any right on the part of the persons who sought the injunction to remain on the land. In those circumstances, the basis upon which Senator Murphy's question and Senator O'Byrne's question were directed to mie is false.

The PRESIDENT - I do not. want to involve the Attorney-General or any other eminent barrister or lawyer in a wrangle, but I can see that Senator Murphy wishes to ask a supplementary question in relation to the question just asked by Senator O'Byrne. Therefore, I shall allow the question.

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