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Wednesday, 13 November 1985
Page: 2102


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition) —by leave-Mr President, I am sorry that I was not available when you contacted me to let me know that you would make this statement. I appreciate your taking the trouble to do so. I also appreciate your putting on the record at this early time the facts which you have set out in your statement. Obviously, it is a matter of concern if allegations are made about the Queensland police. In this case you have been able to indicate that attempts were made to communicate with the Senate. Noting what you have put before us, I see that Mr Carmody, who I think is well known to many of us, has been regarded as an agent of the Parliament because of his role. It appears that he offered to pass on the message. It seems that that left the police in a position where they could be expected to assume that Parliament had been advised. Indeed, there was a communication, although perhaps its nature was not fully appreciated within your office or by the person receiving it.

The fact that the telex was sent to the Australian Federal Police in Canberra and was misunderstood by them-one can easily understand a misunderstanding occurring-further confirms that the police tried to notify the Parliament as to what was occurring. These matters are difficult and the difficulties arise in part because of Senator Georges's strong views on certain matters which get him involved with the law and put the authorities, as well as the Senate, to considerable difficulty. I think it is very important that the sort of approach you have adopted, be adopted, that is, to keep the facts as clear as possible so that we do not spend time arguing about things which are not true.