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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2007

Senator JESSOP —I direct a question to you, Mr President. Is it a fact that, according to a Press statement, Telecom Australia workers who were installing telephones in Parliament House on a Monday recently had complained that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation had fiddled with Telecom systems over the preceding weekend? Can you say whether the security officers of Parliament have carried out electronic sweeps of Parliament House to check whether telephone installations were being interfered with, or whether they carried out any other inspections? Can you say whether random sweeps of parliamentary offices and meeting rooms are being carried out? What other measures have been adopted by parliamentary security officers to ensure that senators and members are able to speak to their constituents and others concerning their parliamentary responsibilities with the confidence that their conversations are free from the intrusion of eavesdroppers?

The PRESIDENT —I can tell the honourable senator that when senators complain of alleged interference with their telephones, the matter is immediately reported to the Security Controller, and when such a complaint is received that complaint is investigated immediately. As the honourable senator would know, from time to time sweeps have been made of committee rooms. I think at one time that occurred at the request of the honourable senator. The other aspects of the honourable senator's question involve matters that require a much more detailed response than I could give immediately. I shall discuss the matter with the Security Controller and report further to the Senate.