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Wednesday, 12 February 1986
Page: 171


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —My question to the Minister representing the Attorney- General relates to the proposal by the Northern Territory Government to institute an inquiry into the Azaria Chamberlain case. In view of the residual responsibilities of the Commonwealth Government with regard to the Northern Territory as a self-governing territory and in view of the need to achieve the most effective inquiry I ask the following questions: First, has the Government had any discussions other than the public gratuitous exchanges yesterday with the Northern Territory Government about this inquiry? If so, what is the nature of those discussions? Secondly, does the Government intend to discuss with the Northern Territory Government the nature of the proposed terms of reference? Is the Government in the process of preparing optimum draft terms? Apart from the Attorney-General's generalised comment yesterday does the Government intend to offer the services of a judge of the Federal Court? Finally, does the Government consider that the inquiry must have the full powers of a royal commission?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I need to take those questions on notice. I do not have information on the basis of which I could answer them. I will seek a reply from the Attorney-General as soon as possible.