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Thursday, 27 June 1996
Page: 2330

Senator FAULKNER (Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) —by leave—Senator Hill makes the point that this is unprecedented. As far as I am aware, he is right to say that it is unprecedented. It is also unprecedented, of course, for one senator to sue—

Senator Hill —I beg your pardon?

Senator FAULKNER —I said that you said it was unprecedented.

Senator Hill —It is also unprecedented for one senator to do what?

Senator FAULKNER —To sue another senator.

Senator Hill —What about Senator Richardson suing me?

Senator FAULKNER —It is very unusual—

Senator Hill —It's all right when it occurs on your side.

Senator FAULKNER —Let me just finish my sentence, if that is okay. It is very unusual for one senator to sue another senator on matters arising out of a senator performing and undertaking his or her responsibilities in relation to a Senate committee. I believe that is the case, Senator Hill. If you believe it is not, you can correct the record at a later stage.

There is no doubt in this case that we have a situation where a senator, properly performing his role and responsibility as a senator and member of this parliament, has been sued. This matter arises out of the operations and functions of a Senate committee. I do believe that is an unprecedented situation, and I do believe it is appropriate that that fact be placed on the record.

Motion (by Senator Chris Evans) agreed to:

That the Senate gives permission for Mr Robert King, who in 1994 was Secretary of the Senate Select Committee on ABC Management and Operations, to give evidence at the hearing of the matter of Alston v. Carr listed for hearing in the County Court at Melbourne on 12 August 1996 and numbered M.C.9500490.