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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1702

Senator STEELE HALL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Attorney-General in view of the reply he gave to a question in the Senate on 3 October in which he said that he hoped shortly to take some action in relation to the question of the protection of privacy. Will the Attorney-General assure the Senate that he will reject any proposal to introduce legislation similar to the Privacy Bill introduced into the South Australian Parliament by that State's Attorney-General, Mr King? Is the Attorney-General aware that the South Australian legislation goes as far as defining the use of facts likely to cause annoyance or embarrassment as an intrusion into privacy? Is the AttorneyGeneral aware that many responsible citizens are gravely concerned that individual cases of unwarranted intrusion may be used as a basis for a similar Act, all embracing in its implications, which would inhibit fair comment and muzzle the media, especially in relation to their interpretation of actions of the Federal Government of the day and of its Ministers in Canberra?

Senator MURPHY -I heard Mr King speaking on a television program the other night. I thought that he handled very well the questions which were put to him about the Privacy Bill. I do not think this is the place to discuss the details of his legislation because he did say then that the legislation had been introduced and that it was being put on the table of the South Australian Parliament and would be there for discussion. He said that it would be considered for some time and that every interest that was affected would have the opportunity to put forward submissions. Mr King is a very innovative and wise Attorney-General. I am quite sure that if any improvements can be made to the Bill that he has introduced in South Australia he will be only too willing to make them. I think the honorable senator ought to accept that there is a widespread feeling that the concepts of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the Press ought to be able to live together with legal provisions which guarantee against unreasonable invasion of privacy.

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