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Thursday, 20 March 1980
Page: 876

Senator HARRADINE (Tasmania) -I seek leave to make a personal explanation. I claim to have been misrepresented.

Leave granted.

Senator HARRADINE - I would not have sought to make this explanation had it not been for the fact that we have just witnessed another example of the long running attempt by Senator O 'Byrne to besmear the names of persons in my State without any foundation whatsoever. Mr President, let me give you the facts.

The PRESIDENT - Order ! Senator Harradine, you must state how you have been misrepresented.

Senator HARRADINE - The President, let me give you the facts on how I have been misrepresented.

The PRESIDENT - It is in order if you indicate that in your presentation.

Senator HARRADINE - The facts of the matter are that if Senator Puplick has made the statement that it was a specific attack only against me, that is a misrepresentation. In fact, it was not an attack specifically against me; it was an attack against the trade union movement in my State. For Senator Puplick to say that naturally I responded only in my own defence is a gross misrepresentation. I responded on that occasion against the attack on the trade union movement and the very worthwhile trade union training program that had been conduced in my State. There was no entitlement on the part of the Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council to pay back the money to the Government. Those funds were audited and given a clean bill of health by the Auditor-General. That is the position and it remains the position. What Senator O'Byrne did not include in his reply was that on that particular occasion he accused persons virtually of thieving money. He did not say what we knew, that on that particular occasion he was required to withdraw that allegation, and he did so.

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