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Monday, 21 April 1980
Page: 1608

Senator Colston (QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 19 February 1980:

(   1 ) Did the Prime Minister's press secretary state, in a letter published by the Age newspaper on 1 June 1979, that departure tax had been paid by, or on behalf of, all members of the party accompanying the Prime Minister to Papua New Guinea in October 1 978.

(2)   Were payments of the departure tax received by the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs for two members of the party from the Department of Construction on 13 June 1979, for two members of the Commonwealth Police Force on 19 June 1979, for the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs from that Department on 21 June 1 979 and for another officer of the Department of Construction from that Department on 14 August 1979; if so, why did the Prime Minister's press secretary give incorrect information to the Age.

Senator Carrick - The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) Yes.

(2)   Yes. The Prime Minister's Press Secretary gave his answer after he was advised that payment had been made by or on behalf of all members of the party. This advice was not correct. Payment had been made by or for, or requested from, all members of the party. In seven cases, the requested payment had not been received as at 1 June 1 979. Payments were received, from five of these persons in June, from another in August and from the seventh person on 27 December 1979.

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