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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1854

Senator JONES —Has the attention of the Minister representing the Attorney-General been drawn to Queensland State Government legislation which virtually prohibits everyone from doing anything, sexual-wise or any otherwise, that annoys the concept of the non-democratic, non-freedom of thought or action presided over by the guru of Queensland, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, and his lackey, the so-called Justice Minister and Attorney-General, Neville Harper? Have any attempts been made, or will any attempts be made, to have Federal Ministers, members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voluntarily submit themselves to a sex test and an AIDS investigation and gain a list of gay bars to avoid before they enter the State of Queensland on official business? What action, if any, can be taken to halt the practice of discrimination against persons or minority groups in the community by the Queensland Government?

Senator WALSH —Senator Jones has asked whether all members of the Federal Parliament will voluntarily submit to these tests. I do not think that is a question that I could answer. It is up to them. Neither do I know whether Sir Joh will require all members of the Queensland Parliament to submit to the same sorts of tests, although I understand that there might be some surprises if he does. Whether Commonwealth parliamentarians travelling to Queensland will be required to undergo the same range of tests as a point of law, I do not know and I certainly would not claim to have any expertise in that area. However, there are some economic consequences I suppose. For example, I understand that under the Queensland legislation all deviants-that is using Sir Joh's definition of deviants-are to be banned from all licensed premises. Using the same definition of deviants as the Queensland Premier uses, I understand that that will encompass about 10 per cent of the population. Senator Boswell should be particularly interested in this; it is a pity he is not here. Given his concern about the economic health of the restaurant industry in Queensland and the fact that most high class restaurants are licensed, he should realise that that means that 10 per cent of the potential customers will not be able to go to restaurants in Queensland. It may be argued that there are not any such deviants in Queensland. Sir Joh might well say that; in which case, of course, there would be no need for his legislation or regulations anyway.