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Monday, 31 March 1980
Page: 1191


Senator WALTERS (TASMANIA) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs. Is the Minister aware that one of the senior Olympic contestants, Dawn Fraser, stated on a television broadcast that she was unaware of any atrocities being committed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Afghanistan and that, if she knew of any atrocities being committed, she would think again about her decision to attend the Olympic Games? Has the Minister adequately briefed the athletes so that they can make an informed decision? If not, will the Minister write to each of the athletes as they are chosen and inform them of the situation in Afghanistan?


Senator SCOTT - I am not aware of any statement that Dawn Fraser has made suggesting that she is unaware of atrocities in Afghanistan. Indeed, if she made such a statement, it is hard to imagine that she could be unaware of them. Certainly, I assume that if any Australian athletes go to Moscow they will be aware of the circumstances in Afghanistan. It is the Australian Government's view that the circumstances in Afghanistan are such that they should dictate that Australia, including her athletes, should make a determination not to give them any support. I shall refer the final detail of the question to the Minister concerned.







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