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Wednesday, 21 August 1985
Page: 87

Senator HAMER —My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Does the Government agree with the opinion of the Federal President of the Australian Labor Party that people damaged by strike action should sue the strikers for compensation? Will the Government be pressing the Australian Broadcasting Corporation--

The PRESIDENT —Order! The honourable senator is seeking a legal opinion in that question.

Senator HAMER —I was asking whether members of the Government agreed with an opinion expressed by the Federal President of their Party. That is not a legal opinion. Will the Government be pressing the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to sue those unions responsible for the outrageous disruption of the telecast of the Australian Opera last Saturday?

Senator BUTTON —I did not see any comment attributed to Mr Wran that persons damaged by strikes should sue those responsible for the damage. If the New South Wales Premier said that I would certainly not endorse thatopinion as being of universal application. I doubt very much whether the Premier would either, as far as it being desirable as a universal principle.

I was asked more specifically whether the ABC will be suing employees responsible for action which disrupted a television program at the Sydney Opera House last Saturday night. I agree with all the adjectives Senator Hamer used to describe that piece of stupid conduct but that is a matter entirely for the ABC which is not influenced by government pronouncements on matters of this kind.