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Monday, 21 September 1987
Page: 370


Mr LINDSAY —My question is directed to the Minister for Science and Small Business. Is it a fact that the Chairman of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Hon. Neville Wran, instructed officers of the Organisation not to make any public statements or release any scientific information in support of commercial logging in north Queensland rainforests? Is this, as charged by Senator Ron Boswell, a case of political suppression?


Mr BARRY JONES —I thank the honourable member for his question. The answers to the three parts of the question are no, no and no. However--


Mr Donald Cameron —Well, sit down.


Mr BARRY JONES —I will not disappoint the honourable member. The Chairman of CSIRO advised Dr Joe Landsberg, the Chief of the Division of Forest Research, that, in his opinion, while CSIRO personnel were free to express their views as citizens on contentious issues involving direct opposition to Government policy, they should not allow themselves to be billed as CSIRO spokesmen to be used as bones in political dog fights. The use to which the CSIRO officer was being put in this case was essentially political, not scientific. I agree entirely with this view. Only the Chairman, the Chief Executive and the Minister can speak for the Organisation in policy matters.