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Monday, 14 October 1996
Page: 4082


Senator FAULKNER (Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)(3.41 p.m.) —by leave—The reason I sought leave is to indicate very clearly to the Senate that there have been some very serious allegations and statements made in relation to Senator Gibson in the conduct of his responsibility as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. I believe they are worthy of a response in this chamber now. I want to indicate through you, Mr Deputy President, to all senators in the chamber that the opposition is willing to give leave to Senator Gibson to make that statement.

Most senators in this chamber would think it is weak and pea hearted in the extreme for Senator Gibson not to participate in that debate about his own behaviour as an office holder of this government. I think you have no alternative but to explain your actions now. In order to facilitate and to allow you to do that, the opposition will give you leave to do that forthwith.