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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3702

Mr Morris asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did he tell me in answer to Question No. 1078 that a warrant was issued by the High Court Registry, Sydney, for Mr Richard Cobden to travel from Canberra to Sydney to attend and record the discussions at a meeting at the High Court, Darlinghurst, of a small group formed by the Chief Justice to advise the Chief Justice on works of an for the High Court building being erected in Canberra.

(2)   If so, is Mr Cobden a stenographer; if not, what special qualifications does Mr Cobden possess that made it appropriate for him to record the dicussions of the meeting.

(3)   On what date, and at what time, did Mr Cobden travel to Sydney.

(4)   On what date, and at what time, did Mr Cobden return to Canberra.

(5)   What was the name, classification and salary of each of the members of the group who attended the mee ung.

(6)   Which members of the group travelled to Sydney, and from where did they travel.

(7)   On what date, and between what times, was the meeting held.

(8)   Have other meetings been held on the same subject; if so, when and where.

(9)   Why was Mr Cobden and Mr Mollison's travel not charged to the department by which they are employed.

Mr Ellicott - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

I am informed that the answers to the other questions asked by the honourable member are as set out in (2) and (9) below.

(2)   Mr Cobdenis not a stenographer. His services were utilised because of his ability to accurately record discussions on matters that were the subject of the meeting.

(3)   20 May 1976 at 4.10p.m.

(4)   25 May 1976 at 8.40 a.m.

(5)   Mr J.Mollison, Director, Australian National Gallery, $22,000 p.a.; Mr M. Shannon, Artist, and member of the Public Works Committee of the Visual Arts Board of the Australian Council.

(6)   Mr J.Mollison from Canberra and Mr M. Shannon from Melbourne.

(   7) On 24 May 1 976 between 2.30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

(8)   Four other meetings have been held, three at the High Court, Sydney, on 22 August 1975, 2 July 1976 and 10 September 1976 and one at the High Court building site, Canberra, on 25 November 1 976.

(9)   Mr Cobden's and Mr Mollison's travel was not in realtion to their official dudes as employees of the Australian National Gallery.

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