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Wednesday, 31 May 1989
Page: 3105


Senator BISHOP —by leave-Mr Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented by Senator Schacht and by Senator Robert Ray concerning Senator Schacht's attempt to use as a precedent my tabling of the tape of one John Patrick Begg, which I introduced into this Parliament in March 1988 and tabled for the public record, which showed that a staffer of the former Premier, Neville Wran, had boasted of enabling 400 dead men to vote. Senator Schacht attempted to use that precedent as somehow justifying his behaviour. I find that totally and utterly unacceptable. The distinction is very simple. The meeting which Mr Begg addressed was a public meeting and could be freely, and obviously was, taped by somebody who was present at that meeting. The subject of the censure motion today is a private meeting of members and senators to discuss matters that were relevant to the exercise of their parliamentary duty and it was taped in an illicit manner through the technology which exists in this building. As Senator Harradine said, it is the action which is censurable and, as Senator Chaney said, it is indeed the need to have some rules which we apply which is important.

Question put:

That the amendment (Senator Macklin's) be agreed to.