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ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Leave refused: Senator Abetz sought leave to move General Business

notice of motion no. 1525 standing in his name for this day, relating to

academic freedom.

An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Abetz, at the request of the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Hill) and pursuant to

contingent notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be

suspended as would prevent Senator Hill moving a motion relating to the

conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to give

precedence to General Business notice of motion no. 1525 standing in the

name of Senator Abetz for this day, relating to academic freedom.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

Senator Abetz, at the request of Senator Hill, moved--That General

Business notice of motion no. 1525 standing in the name of Senator Abetz

for this day, relating to academic freedom, may be moved immediately and

have precedence over all other business this day till determined.

Question put and passed.

Senator Abetz moved--That the Senate--

(a) reconfirms its commitment to academic freedom and the right of

academic staff at Australia's tertiary institutions to engage in

public debate without fear of intimidation; and

(b) expresses its disapproval of the actions of the leader of the

Greens in Tasmania in seeking to silence Professor Nigel

Forteath by referring him to the Tasmania University ethics

committee because of a view he expressed.

Debate ensued.

Documents: Senator Chamarette, by leave, tabled the following documents:

Lake Pedder--

Copy of newspaper extract--Brown gets both barrels--Article by

Michael Lester, the Mercury, 11 May 1995, p. 3.

Copies of letters from--

University of New South Wales (Dr T R Grant) to the Secretary,

House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment.

University of Tasmania (Prof. Nigel Forteath) to the Secretary,

House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Recreation, and

the Arts (Mr I Dundas), dated 10 April 1995.

Debate continued.

Senator Coulter moved the following amendment:

Paragraph (b), omit "actions", substitute "alleged actions".

Debate ensued.

Document: Senator Abetz, by leave, tabled the following document:

Lake Pedder--Facsimile copy of newspaper extract--Attack "like Nazi

persecution'--Article by Claire Braund, the Examiner, 10 May 1995, p.

5.

Debate continued.

Documents: Senator Murphy, by leave, tabled the following documents:

Lake Pedder--Facsimile copies of newspaper extracts--The Examiner--

Professor's life a misery since his Pedder platypus remarks, 10 May

1995.

The Response--Article by Claire Braund, 10 May 1995.

Threat to destroy Forteath denied--Article by Barry Prismall, 11 May

1995, p. 14.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put and passed. Senators Margetts and

Chamarette, by leave, recorded their votes for the Noes.

After 4.30 p.m.: The Acting Deputy President (Senator McGauran) reminded

the Senate that the order of the Senate of 2 February 1994 provided for

General Business to be called on at 4.30 p.m. Leave was granted to

enable the tabling of certain documents prior to the commencement of

General Business.