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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 2193


Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) - I take this opportunity of welcoming the Postmaster-General back to the House, and ask him whether the Solicitor-General, Mr Ellicott, stood unsuccessfully for Liberal Party pre-selection for the federal seat of Berowra. Was this done without prejudice to his high office and without recriminations from the Australian Labor Party? Has the Minister noticed a parallel case of an Australian Broadcasting Commission employee who stood unsuccessfully as an Australian Labor Party candidate in the Tasmanian State elections and who was subsequently restored to his former job? Is the Minister aware that attempts have been made to put pressure on the ABC to revoke its sensible and just decision to reinstate this employee? Will the Minister act to safeguard the political rights and right to reinstatement of public servants who unsuccessfully seek public office? In particular, will he ensure that these principles are applied fairly to members of all political parties?


Sir ALAN HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - I know that within the Commonwealth Public Service, and I believe also in the State public services, a permanent officer desiring to stand for Parliament has the opportunity to stand down from his job for a period. If he is unsuccessful at the election, he is reinstated. I am sure that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will appreciate that some of the staff of the Australian Broadcasting Commission are permanent public servants, some are employed under contract and some are employed on a casual basis. I am not certain of the category of the person to whom he refers but I shall have inquiries made. If he is a permanent public servant I would expect him to be reinstated.


Mr McMahon - He has been.


Sir ALAN HULME - The Prime Minister informs me that he has been reinstated. If there are difficulties in relation to his reinstatement, 1 do not understand why they should occur.







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