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Tuesday, 13 May 1980
Page: 2107

Senator ROCHER (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Do recent events in Rome and Bonn indicate that Colonel Gaddafi's threat to kill Libyans who disobey his dictum to return to Libya has been carried out on at least five occasions and that Libyan diplomatic personnel have been directly involved in crimes of violence? Are allegations that Libya is largely involved in financing many terrorists groups around the world substantially correct? Does the Government consider it necessary to take steps to ensure closer surveillance of Libyan diplomats and to oversee the safety of Libyan citizens in Australia?

Senator CARRICK - I have some information regarding the threats on Libyans abroad -

Senator Georges - Table it now. You have a prepared answer from the Foreign Affairs Department.

Senator CARRICK -Because of the interjections, I repeat that since the Senate was formed it has been the practice of Ministers to come into the Parliament with briefs on all matters that are likely to be raised. This one is a perfectly clear brief prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and it is similar to those that are in these documents. There is nothing significant in this. It is the normal practice of Ministers to anticipate what questions are likely to be asked and to obtain briefings. I have documents of briefings on my table. This briefing says that the Government has noted the reports that the Libyan leader has ordered the return of exiles to Libya and the connection that has been assumed between these reports and recent acts of terrorism in London and other European capitals. So far there has been no indication of likely repercussions from these events in Australia, where the Libyan community is very small. The appropriate authorities will be on the watch for any illegal activity by anyone. I will refer the remainder of the question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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