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Thursday, 17 December 1992
Page: 5509

Senator HERRON (4.53 a.m.) —The evidence that has been presented to us has been quite inadequate. Senator Ray said earlier that there are two aspects—whether there has been due process on the one hand and whether the compensation has been adequate for the injuries sustained. In all of the evidence produced to us there is only one medical report and that was from a doctor who saw Mr McLeay on a preliminary matter. The report was written six months after the original injury.

  There are a number of interesting aspects in the evidence that has been presented to us. Mr McLeay's total out of pocket expenses were in the vicinity of $600 for medical expenses and $2,600 for hospital expenses. He gets $65,000 for that. There are no other medical reports. There was not even one from the operating neurosurgeon. A second opinion has not been presented to us, at all. In my professional experience, I have never heard of this occurring. We have not been given anything that justifies the compensation of $65,000 for something of this nature. He suffered an undisplaced fracture of the elbow. He must be the only member of the New South Wales Right to break his arm and to then get $65,000 from the taxpayer.

  There is a lot more evidence that has to be produced in this case to justify that expenditure, and you, Mr President, are not absolved of this. You have washed your hands of this. You have dumped this on the Secretary of the Joint House Department and said that you do not want to know about it. Mr President, that is not good enough. You are the officer responsible for the governance of this Parliament, and you said you did not want to know about it. You are the joint head of this Department, and it is not good enough to say that it is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Department. He is the responsible officer but he cannot be given the responsibility for the expenditure of $65,000 of taxpayers' money.