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Wednesday, 4 April 1984
Page: 1192

Senator HAMER —Is the Minister for Resources and Energy aware that the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Mr Dolan, has accused him of leaking the draft new Australian Labor Party policy on uranium? Did the Minister or anyone acting for him leak the document to the Australian Financial Review? If not, has the Minister been in touch with Mr Dolan to seek an apology?

Senator WALSH —Some people might find it hard to believe that Senator Hamer's question is not a Dorothy Dixer, but it is not. I telephoned Mr Dolan yesterday to draw his attention to the fact that he was reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as having accused me of leaking a draft document. I told him that I wanted to raise two matters with him: Firstly, I told him that I did not leak it and, secondly, I wanted to know what led him to believe that I had. His answer to the second statement was that a sequence of events led him to believe that I had leaked the document. His response to the first statement-that is, that I had not leaked the document-was that he accepted my assurance that I had not done so. He told me that if he were asked to comment publicly on that matter again--

Senator Chaney —He did not require you to prove the negative; that is your form.

Senator WALSH —I cannot prove that I did not leak the document. How could I? The only thing one could prove is that one did leak it, and I am not able to do that either.

Senator Peter Rae —Can you not have a leak inquiry and find out who it was?

Senator WALSH —I do not regard it as being of sufficient importance.

The PRESIDENT —Order! I ask the Minister to answer Senator Hamer's question.

Senator WALSH —Mr Dolan said that he accepted my assurance that I had not leaked it, and he said that if he were asked to comment upon it publicly again he would state that I had told him that I had not leaked it and that he accepted my assurance. I do not regard the whole incident as being terribly important.