Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Electoral redistribution - Royal Commission of Inquiry - Copies of Letters from - Report, August 1978


Download PDF Download PDF

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

MATIERS IN RELATION TO ELECTORAL REDISTRIBUTION QUEENSLAND 1977

Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry

August 1978

Presented by Command 15 August 1978 Ordered to be printed 28 September 1978

Parliamentary Paper No. 263/1978

ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

MATTERS IN RELATION TO ELECTORAL REDISTRIBUTION

QUEENSLAND 1977

R E P 0 R T

AUGUST 1978

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING SERVICE

CANBERRA 1978

of Australia 1978

ISBN 0 642 03759 0

Printed by C.J. Thompson, Commonwealth Government Printer

3 August 1978

Your Excellency,

I have the honour to present to you the

Report of my inquiry into the matters referred to in Letters Patent dated 24 April 1978, 10 May 1978, and 30 May 1978.

D.G. McGREGOR Commissioner

His Excellency Sir Zelman Cowen, A.K., G.C.M.G., K.St.J., Q.C., Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, Government House,

CANBERRA. A.C.T. 2600.

FOREWORD

LETTERS PATENT

C 0 N T E N T S

APPEARANCES AND HEARING OF EVIDENCE

LEGISLATIVE BACKGROUND

FORMAL ACTIONS TAKEN PURSUANT TO LEGISLATION

ANALYSIS OF ELECTORAL ACT 1918 PART III

LAW OF THE COMMONWEALTH

THE MEANING OF IMPROPRIETY

DEGREE OF SATISFACTION

THE USE OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

LETTERS PATENT - 24 APRIL 19?8

ANALYSIS OF ALLEGED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES FROM WHICH MIGHT BE INFERRED ANY BREACH OF A LAW OF THE COMMONWEALTII OR IMPROPRIETY

List of such Facts and Circumstances Luncheon at Beaudesert

The Circumstances in which Statutory Declaration dated 28 March 1978, Exhibit G2, came into existence The Circumstances in which Statutory

Declaration dated 9 April 1978, Exhibit G3, came into existence How names attributed to Divisions

Page

vii

xiii XX

1

3

11

19

21

27

29

34

34

69

71

106

came to be changed 158

FINDING AFTER CONSIDERATION OF THE ANALYSIS OF ALLEGED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES 163

FINDING AS TO DIRECT EVIDENCE 163

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 24 APRIL 1978 164

v

LETTERS PATENT - 30 MAY 1978 Page

FINDING AS TO BREACH OF A LAW 16 7

IMPROPRIETY 168

The preparation and circulation of a document, Exhibit AAH, "Queensland - Analysis of initial proposals of Distribution Commissioners" 168

The Change of Name 179

Finding as to Political Significance of Name 226

History of Events dealing with and Conversations leading to the Change of Name from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson" 227

The Fox Report 237

Summary of Events leading to Change of Name 237

Conclusion 240

FINDING AS TO IMPROPRIETY 243

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 30 MAY 1978 244

LETTERS PATENT - 10 MAY 19 78

FINDING AS TO STATEMENTS MADE BY THE HONOURABLE ERIC ROBINSON, M.P.

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 10 MAY 1978

COSTS

APPENDICES

LIST OF AUTHORITIES (referred to in text thus 2 ")

SCHEDULE 'A' WITNESSES - IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

SCHEDULE 'B' EXHIBITS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

vi

254

255

256

258

259

260

275

FOREWORD

In 1977 in accordance with the provisions of the Representation Amendment Act 1977 and the CommortlJ)ealth Electoral Act 1918 as amended in that year

(a) the number of Members of the House of

Representatives to be chosen for the State of Queensland was increased from 18 to 19;

(b) a re-distribution of the State into

Electoral Divisions then became mandatory.

The Governor-General by Proclamation required that there be such re-distribution. The number of Divisions would have to be equal to the number of Members to be chosen.

In any such re-distribution, which would make in Queensland 19 Divisions where there were formerly 18, it was inevitable that the territory comprised in one or more Electoral Divisions would be changed and some electors would find themselves

in a new Division; and there would have to be at

least one new name for a Division.

Pursuant to the Commonwealth Electoral Act s.l8, the Chief Australian Electoral Officer, Mr. K.W. Pearson, ascertained a quota for Electoral Divisions by dividing the number of electors in

Queensland by the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be chosen for Queensland (19). The quota then determined was 65,877.

vii

In the Electoral Division of "McPherson" in south-east Queensland (first established in 1948) there were in 1977, 114,067 electors; so it was clear that, conforming to the quota, this Division would in the process of Distribution be substantially

reduced in size.

The process of Distribution was carried out by three Distribution Commissioners. Two persons, the Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland and the Surveyor General for Queensland (a Commonwealth and

a State Public Servant respectively) were by reason of their office very likely to be appointed Commissioners. These gentlemen were Mr. F.J. Coleman and Mr. J.M. Serisier. They were in fact appointed. The Governor-General appointed as Third Commissioner, Mr. R.M. Seymour described as the Director, Queensland Region, Commonwealth Department of Transport, who is also a Commonwealth Public Servant. The Governor-General acting pursuant to the CornmorMeaZth EZectoraZ Act 1918, s .16 ( 2) , appointed

Mr. Coleman to be Chairman of the Distribution Commissioners.

The Distribution Commissioners were, by the legislation, required to call for and consider suggestions and comments from the public. This they did. On 10 August 1977, acting pursuant to the legislation, they published a map showing their proposed Divisions. The old Division of "McPherson" was shown in it as substantially forming two new

Electoral Divisions, one (called "Gold Coast") to the east and bounded by the coast to the east and the

McPherson Range to the south; and the other

viii

(called "McPherson") to the west bounded on its east by the western boundary of "Gold Coast" and on the south, at least partly, by the McPherson Range. The sitting Member for the old Division of "McPherson" was the Honourable Eric Robinson. These proposals

involved not merely a reduction in the size of, but also an alteration df the name of the electorate for which he would be expected to seek re-election. Some people hold the view that such an alteration of name

would have political significance.

A further period of days was by law

required to elapse after the maps were displayed so that the public could lodge suggestions and objections concerning the Distribution Commissioners' tentative proposal. This period expired on

9 September 1978.

The naming of Electoral Divisions is not one of the duties of the Distribution Commissioners. It lies within the power of the Governor-General. However, Distribution Commissioners in their Reports

customarily, although not invariably, attach names to Divisions.

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers gave evidence that he thought the names attributed to the Divisions by the Distribution Commissioners were inappropriate, as being inconsistent with the principles as to naming expressed in a Report which had been presented to Parliament some years before,

known as the "Fox Report". On or about 15 September 1977 he telephoned Mr. Pearson and suggested the latter speak to the Chairman of the Distribution Commissioners, draw his attention to the inconsistency

ix

and suggest to him that the appropriate names might be "McPherson" for the eastern Division and "Fadden" for the western Division. Mr. Pearson did so, though without mentioning to the Chairman his telephone call with Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers; whereupon the Chairman called a meeting of the Distribution Commissioners and

repeated the suggestion that the names which had been attached to the Divisions conflicted with a Parliamentary Report. He may also have said the names conflicted with a convention. He further added what had been put to him as more appropriate names.

The Commissioners thereupon agreed to change the names. When they signed their Report on 26 September 1977 the Divisions were called by them "McPherson" (instead of "Gold Coast") and "Fadden"

(instead of "McPherson").

Subsequently, allegations were made that the Distribution Commissioners had been subject to some illegal or improper pressure by the Honourable Eric Robinson in carrying out their duties and had acquiesced in or yielded to that pressure. Those allegations included allegations about fixing of boundaries and the change of name. Letters Patent

dated 24 April 1978 were issued seeking an inquiry into the allegations. Further Letters Patent were issued on 30 May 1978 extending the inquiry on the same subject to the activities of any person. These Letters Patent are reproduced after this Foreword.

The evidence overall has related almost entirely

X

to events which concern the old electorate of "McPherson"; my findings therefore are to be read with that circumstance in mind.

Allegations were also made as to statements said to have been made by the Honourable Eric . Robinson on 26 July 1977 at a luncheon at Beaudesert concerning the likely decision of the Commonwealth

Government in relation to the mining of uranium in Australia. Letters Patent for an inquiry to determine what was said by him on this occasion were signed on 10 May 1978. These Letters Patent are

also reproduced after this Foreword.

For reference there are attached the following four Maps -

Map No. 1

Map of proposed Divisions of Bowman, Capricornia, Darling Downs, Dawson, Fadden, Fisher, Griffith, Herbert, Kennedy, Leichhardt, McPherson, Maranoa, Oxley, Petrie and Wide Bay

- attached to Volume 1 of the final Report of

the Queensland Electoral Distribution Commissioners signed on 26 September 1977 (part of Exhibit B15).

Map. No. 2

Map of the proposed Electoral for

the State of Queensland as exhibited at Post Offices from 10 August 1977 to 8 September 1977 (Exhibit A). Boundaries of former Division "McPherson" are shown in green.

xi

Map No. 3

Map of the proposed Electoral Division of

"McPherson" in the State of Queensland as exhibited at Post Offices from 10 August 1977 to 8 September 1977 (Exhibit Bl3).

Map No. 4

Map of the proposed Electoral Division of

"Gold Coast" in the State of Queensland as exhibited at Post Offices from 10 August 1977 to 8 September 1977 (Exhibit Bl4).

Because Letters Patent of 24 April 1978 and 30 May 1978 deal with the same subject (though referring to different persons), they are discussed before the Letters Patent of 10 May 1978.

***

xii

LETTERS PATENT - 24 APRIL 1978

ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of f-::1

Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth:

TO THE HONOURABLE DOUGLAS GORDON PATRICK McGREGOR,

a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and

the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory,

GREETING:

By these Our Letters Patent issued in Our names by Our Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the advice of Our Federal Executive Council and in pursuance of the Constitution of the Commonwealth

of Australia, the Royal Corrmissions Act 1902, and other enabling powers, We appoint you to be a Commissioner to inquire into and report upon whether any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or any impropriety occurred in the course of the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions

for the election of Members of the House of Representatives, including the change of the name of a proposed -Division from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson", by reason of -

(a) anything said or action taken by or on

behalf of the Honourable Eric Robinson; (b) any action taken by the Distribution

Commissioners or any of them as a result of anything said or action taken by or on

behalf of the Honourable Eric Robinson; or

xiii

(c) any communication by the Distribution Commissioners to the Honourable Eric Robinson:

AND We direct you to make such recommendations as

you consider are desirable as a result of your inquiry:

AND We require you as expeditiously as possible to

make your inquiry and report the results of your inquiry and your recommendations to Our Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

WITNESS HIS EXCELLENCY SIR ZELMAN COWEN, Knight of the Order of Australia, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order

of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, one of Her Majesty's Counsel learned

in the law, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, this twenty-fourth day of April 1978.

ZELMAN COWEN,

Governor-General

By His Excellency's Command,

J.D. ANTHONY,

Minister of State for Trade and Resources for and on behalf of the Prime Minister

xiv

LETTERS PATENT - 30 MAY 1978

ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of

Australia and Her other Realms and Territories,

Head of the Commonwealth:

CJ @

TO THE HONOURABLE DOUGLAS GORDON PATRICK McGREGOR,

a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory,

GREETING:

WHEREAS by Letters Patent issued in Our name on

24 April 1978 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and in pursuance of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia,

the Royal Commissions Act 1902 and all other enabling powers, We appointed you to be a Commissioner to inquire into certain matters relating to the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland

into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives:

AND WHEREAS by Letters Patent issued in Our name on

10 May 1978 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and in pursuance of those same powers, We varied the Letters Patent

issued on 24 April 1978 so as to require you also

to inquire into and report upon the matters specified in the Letters Patent issued on 10 May 1978:

XV

AND WHEREAS it is desirable that your inquiry be

extended to further matters that may not fall directly within the matters to be inquired into under the Letters Patent issued on 24 April 1978 and 10 May 1978:

NOW THEREFORE, We do, by these Our Letters Patent

issued in Our name by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the advice of the Federal Executive Council and in pursuance of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Royal Commissions Aat 1902 and all other enabling powers,

vary the Letters Patent issued on 24 April 1978 and 10 May 1978 so as to require that, to the extent

that you may not be required to do so by the Letters

Patent issued on 24 April 1978 and 10 May 1978, you inquire into and report upon whether, in the course of the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives

(including the change of the name of a proposed Division from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson") in so far as the re-distribution affected that part of the State of Queensland that, prior to the re-distribution, comprised the Division of any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or any impropriety occurred by reason of -

(a) anything said or action taken by

or on behalf of any person;

(b) any action taken by the Distribution

Commissioners or any of them as a result of anything said or action taken by or on behalf of any person; or

xvi

(c) any communication by the Distribution Commissioners to any person.

WITNESS HIS EXCELLENCY SIR ZELMAN COWEN, Knight of the Order of Australia, Knight Grand Cross of the Most

Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of

Jerusalem, one of Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of

Australia, this thirtieth day of May 1978.

ZELMAN COWEN

Governor-General

By His Excellency's Command,

MALCOLM FRASER, Prime Minister

xvii

LETTERS PATENT - 10 MAY 1978

ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of

Australia and Her other Realms and Territories,

Head of the Commonwealth:

t::::l

TO THE HONOURABLE DOUGLAS GORDON PATRICK McGREGOR,

a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.

GREETING:

WHEREAS by Letters Patent issued in Our name on

24 April 1978 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and in pursuance of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Royal Commissions Act 1902 and all other enabling powers, We appointed you to be a Commissioner to inquire into certain matters relating to the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives:

AND WHEREAS it is desirable that there be an

inquiry into certain matters that do not fall within the matters to be inquired into under the Letters Patent issued on 24 April 1978:

NOW THEREFORE, We do, by these Our Letters Patent

issued in Our name by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the advice of the

xviii

Federal Executive Council and in pursuance of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, the RoyaZ Commissions Act 1902 and all other enabling

powers, vary the Letters Patent issued on 24 April 1978 so as to require you also to inquire into and

report upon whether, on 26 July 1977, at Beaudesert in the State of Queensland, the Honourable Eric Robinson made any statement (and, if so, what statement or statements) concerning the likely

decisions of the Commonwealth Government in relation to the mining of uranium in Australia.

WITNESS HIS EXCELLENCY SIR - ZELMAN COWEN, Knight of the Order of Australia, Knight Grand Cross of the Most

Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of

Saint John of Jerusalem, one of Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law, Governor-General of the

Commonwealth of Australia, this tenth day of May 1978.

ZELMAN COWEN

Governor-General

By His Excellency's Command,

MALCOLM FRASER,

Prime Minister

xix

APPEARANCES AND HEARING OF EVIDENCE

Pursuant to the Letters Patent a preliminary sitting was held at 294 Adelaide Street, Brisbane on 8 May 1978 at which appearances were announced of Counsel to assist the Commission; authorisation of Counsel to appear for persons mentioned below was granted; and procedure to be followed at the

hearing was fixed.

1. Mr. A.M. Gleeson, Q.C. (with him

Mr. R.H. Macready) announced their appearance to assist the Commission. 2. Mr. T.E.F. Hughes, Q.C. (with him

Mr. W.J. Carter) applied and were authorised to appear for the Honourable Eric Robinson, M.P. 3. Mr. I. Callinan applied and was

authorised to appear for Mr. Francis Joseph Coleman, Mr. John Macquarie Serisier, and Mr. Robert Michael Seymour, being Commissioners referred

to in the Letters Patent.

Subsequently, and on the dates mentioned below there was authorised appearances for the persons whose names appear as follows -

4. On 16 May 1978 Mr. D.G. Sturgess

applied and was authorised to appear for Mr. Donald Milner Cameron, M.P.

XX

5. On 23 May 1978 Mr. G.W. Crooke

first applied and on 29 May 1978 was authorised to appear for Mr. John Joseph Teulan. 6. On 6 June 1978 Mr. P.M. Douglas

applied and was authorised to appear for Mr. Keith William Pearson, Chief Australian Electoral Officer. '

The hearing commenced on Monday, 15 May 1978 .d thereafter proceeded on the week days following, to and including Tuesday, 13 June 1978.

Those who gave evidence are referred to in hedule 'A' hereto.

Exhibits received are referred to in Schedule ' hereto.

To assist an understanding of the issues ised it is convenient shortly to summarise some the legislative background and formal actions ken pursuant thereto in 1977.

***

xxi

LEGISLATIVE BACKGROUND

The CommoY!J.;)ealth Electoral Act 1918., s. 25 (1), requires that a re-distribution of any State into Divisions be made whenever directed by the Governor-General by Proclamation.

Section 25(2)(a) of the same Act requires such a Proclamation to be made forthwith after the making of a "determination" that results in an alteration in the number of Members of the House of

Representatives to be chosen for the State.

The "determination" there referred to is a determination under the Representation Act 1905. (See the Corrononwealth Electoral Act 1918., s .14A) .

The Representation Act 1905 was amended by the Representation Amendment Act 1977.

The Representation Act 1905., s. 9, commits the function of determining the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the several States to the Chief Australian Electoral Officer (since October 1976, Mr. K.W. Pearson).

Such "determination" is carried out in accordance with the Representation Act 1905-1964., as amended by Acts No. 40 of 1974 and No. 16 of 1977, and is

based on population statistics.

The Representation Amendment Act 1977 (No. 16 of 1977) which came into force on 28 February 1977 contained a transitional provision, section 9, which required the Chief Australian Electoral Officer to ascertain

the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth and

1

of the several States within thirty days after the commencement of that section. As a result of that ascertainment and the issue of a certificate :under s. 5 of the Repraesentation Act 1905, the Chief Australian Electoral Officer was required pursuant to s.9 of

the Repraesentation Act 1905 to determine the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the several States.

He made such a determination (Exhibit B4, to

be referred to later) and that determination resulted in an increase by one in the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be chosen for the State of Queensland.

By reason of that determination, the Commonwealth

EZectoraaZAct1918, s.25(2)(a), provided that it was

mandatory that there should be a re-distribution in Queensland.

Were the re-distribution proposed by the Distribution Commissioners not approved by both Houses of Parliament, the following Federal election would have had to be in the State of Queensland, an

election "at large". (See the CorrononweaZth EZectoraaZ Act 1918, s. 2 SA) •

***

2

FORMAL ACTIONS TAKEN PURSUANT TO LEGISLATION

The evidence of Mr. Pearson (unchallenged on these points) establishes that the following procedures, reflecting these various legislative provisions, were carried out on the dates specified,

in accordance with his duties generally, and the requirements of the CorrorzonweaZth EZectoraZ Act 1918 and the Representation Act 1905. References to sections are to the former Act unless otherwise specified.

6 December 1976

17 December 1976

1 January 1977

Anticipating that a re-distribution would be required in 1977, Mr. Pearson wrote to the Australian

Electoral Officer in each State asking him to suggest a list of persons considered suitable for appointment as

Distribution Commissioners. Hereafter this Report is concerned with appointments to that office in Queensland.

The Acting Chief Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland (Mr. McKeon) replied returning a list of names.

Mr. Francis Joseph Coleman was appointed Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland.

3

11 January 1977

25 February 1977

2 March 1977

4 March 1977

18 March 1977

Four names for Queensland were submitted to the Minister for Administrative Services (Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers) by the Acting Chief Australian

Electoral Officer.

Mr. Pearson submitted to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers a further name for the Queensland list.

Mr. Pearson wrote to all Australian Electoral Officers suggesting they might make an informal approach to the possible three Commissioners to ascertain their willingness to be considered for this appointment.

Mr. Pearson received from the Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland (Mr. Coleman) the Curriculum Vitae of three more persons he was considering

adding to the list. These names

he had suggested to him during the preceding few weeks. One of these was Mr. Seymour who ultimately was appointed the third Commissioner.

Pursuant to the Representation Amendment Act 19??, s. 9, Mr. Pearson

4

21 March 1977

22 March 1977

12 April 1977

wrote to the Australian Statistician seeking the latest available population statistics (Exhibit Bl).

Mr. Pearson "made" a Certificate of the number of people of the

Commonwealth and of the several States which was tabled in Parliament. He also determined the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be

chosen from each State. He forwarded that determination to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers (Exhibit B4). It showed

that by reason of the Corrorzom.Jealth Electoral Act 1918, s. 2 5 ( 2) (a) , a

re-distribution in Queensland was necessary.

A copy of the Certificate tabled

in Parliament was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette ('Gazette') S47 (Exhibit B3).

The Governor-General by Proclamation (published in Gazette No. S62) directed that a re-distribution of the State of Queensland into Electoral

Divisions should be made in the manner provided by the Corrrmom.Jealth EZ.ectoral Act 1918 (Exhibit B6) .

5

19 April 1977

20 April 1977

26 April 1977

26 May 1977

The appointment of the Distribution Commissioners (namely Francis Joseph Coleman, John Macquarie Serisier, and

Robert Michael Seymour) was made by the Governor-General (Exhibit B7). Francis Joseph Coleman was appointed Chairman, such action being pursuant to the

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918,

s.l6(2). (Exhibit BB).

These appointments were notified in Gazette No. S69 (Exhibit B9).

Pursuant to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, s .18A, a Notice was published in Gazette No. S73 inviting suggestions in writing

relating to the re-distribution of Queensland into 19 Electoral Divisions to be lodged within thirty days after the date of

the advertisement, and comments in writing relating to any such suggestions received by the Commissioners, to be lodged within fourteen days after the

expiration of the thirty-day period referred to above (Exhibit BlO).

The said Notice fixed this as the last day for the receipt of

suggestions.

6

9 June 1977

24 June 1977

29 June 1977

[30 June 19??

21 July 1977

[26 July 19??

The last-mentioned Notice fixed this as the last day for the

receipt of comments.

Statistics were provided by each State as to the numbers of its

electors.

Mr. Pearson, by letter of this date, advised the Chairman of the Distribution Commissioners for each State including Queensland that, pursuant to the

CommorMealth Electoral Act 1918, s .18, the quota for the last-mentioned State was 65,877; and that by

reason of s.l9 of the same Act

no Division should contain more than 72,464 or less

than 59,290 (Exhibit Bll).

By this date the Distribution

Commissioners for Queensland had

commenced their duties].

On this day a circular was sent

to Divisional Returning Officers containing particulars of tentative distribution proposals (Exhibit AM).

The Honourable Eric Robinson attended a luncheon at the Logan and Albert Hotel, at Beaudesert at which certain

7

10 August 1977

statements were said to have been made by him] .

The Distribution Commissioners for Queensland pursuant to the CormzonuJealtl. Electoral Act 1918, s. 20 (a), caused maps with a description of the boundaries

of each proposed Division to be exhibited at Post Offices in the proposed Division. Exhibit A was one such map. Copies of comments lodged with the Commissioners were made available for perusal at the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland in Brisbane. The Commissioners, by an entry in Gazette No. Sl60 of this date, notified the carrying out of the steps mentioned above; and further that pursuant to section 18A suggestions or objections in writing could be lodged with the Commissioners not later than thirty days therefrom, viz. on or before 9 September 1977 (Exhibit Bl2). The Commissioners' proposals

involved a substantial contraction of the Division for which the sitting Member, the Honourable Eric Robinson, would be expected to be the

candidate in any future election and attached to it the tentative name "Gold Coast". The remainder of the old Division of "McPherson", that is the area

8

to the west of "Gold Coast" formed part of a new Division tentatively named "McPherson". The maps for those proposed

Divisions were displayed. (Exhibit Bl3 and Exhibit Bl4 respectively).

26 September 1977 The Commissioners issued and

signed their Report (Exhibit BlS). The relevant Divisions, with boundaries unchanged from those displayed on 10 August 1977,

13 October 1977

17 October 1977

18 October 1977

were now called "McPherson" (eastern Electoral Division) and "Fadden" (western Electoral Division).

The Report was received in Canberra by the Chief Australian Electoral Officer on or about this day.

A copy of the Report was forwarded to the Minister for Administrative Services, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers,

by the Chief Australian Electoral Officer.

The Report as required by the Commoro..uealth Electoral Act 1918_, s. 2 3A,

was tabled in both Houses of Parliament.

9

27 October 1977 Resolutions were passed by both Houses of Parliament approving the proposed re-distribution.

Thereafter and as required by the said Act, s.24, a Proclamation declaring the names and boundaries of the Electoral Divisions for Queensland was gazetted (Gazette PlO). In that Gazette the boundaries of the Subdivisions were specified pursuant to the said Act, s.26(1) and the preparation of new Rolls for Queensland was directed pursuant to s.33(1) thereof.

At the end of the sittings of Parliament in

1977 there was passed the CorronorMealth Electoral (Re-Distribution) Act 19??; the effect of which was to validate the re-distribution in all States.

***

10

ANALYSIS OF ELECTORAL ACT 1918 PART III,

"ELECTORAL DIVISIONS"

WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COMMUNICATION WITH

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS AND NAMING OF DIVISIONS

It will have been noticed that there is a

statutory procedure in the Commo'YDJJealth Eleatoraal Act 1918 by which the views of persons may be communicated to the Commissioners. I refer to this below, though not precisely following the order of words in the sections.

S.l8A This was added to the Act by Act No. 48 of

1965. The Commissioners as soon as practicable after they have been appointed by advertisement in the Gazette are to invite communication with them, viz.

" ... suggestions in writing ...

relating to the distribution of the State into Divisions" to be lodged with them within thirty days after the date of the advertisement [s.l8A(l)]. After the thirty-day period copies of these

suggestions are to be made available for perusal at the office of the Commonwealth Electoral for the State [s .18A ( 2)] .

The Commissioners further invite comments in writing relating to any suggestions received to be lodged with them within fourteen days after the expiration of the thirty-day period

[s .18A(l) (b)]. These invitations c-an be and were in fact issued in the one Gazette (Exhibit BlO), No. S73, although "comments" as stated must in the

nature of things be made after "suggestions".

11

24571178-2

S.l9 This sets out the criteria to which the Commissioners shall give ___ "due consideration" in making any proposed distribution of a State into Divisinns. It does not refer to the

naming of any proposed Division or to'any matters that could be relevant to such naming.

On a consideration of Part III of the Act it

appears that the naming of a Division is not entrusted to the Commissioners as part of the exercise of any proposed distribution of a State into Divisions. This does not mean that they may not attach a name to a Division during e.g. for ease of reference; nor are they precluded from allowing any intimation of their views on this matter to appear in their Report. In fact it seems

the usual practice was to attach provisional names to Electoral Divisions in such Reports.

S.20 Before reporting on the distribution of a State into Divisions, and no doubt having given consideration to any "suggestions" and

"comments", the Commissioners shall cause a map with a description of the boundaries of each proposed Division to be displayed at Post Offices in that Division inviting public attention to it by an advertisement in the Gazette [s.20(a)]. They are also to make available for perusal at the office of the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for the State the "comments" lodged as referred to earlier

[s.20(b)].

12

S.21 Another opportunity is given to the public to lodge within thirty days of the advertisement mentioned in the last paragraph "suggestions"

and "objections" in writing, and the Commissioners shall consider these before making their Report. Presumably it was considered that this entitlement might be

available to those members of the public who may have seen the map, description of boundaries and comments which are referred to in s.20 above.

So far the Act makes no mention of the naming

of Divisions.

S.22 This reads -

"Except as provided by section eighteen A of this Act or by the last preceding

section, a person shall not, by writing sent to a Distribution Commissioner, or by words spoken to or in the presence of a Distribution Commissioner, seek to

influence the Commissioner in the performance of his duties under this Act". Its appearance in the Act at this point might be said to confirm a view that the naming of

Divisions is not a matter to be regarded as

part of the Commissioners' " duties under this Act"

since the section is attaching criminal significance to incorrect procedures, accompanied by a certain wrongful intent, in

13

approaches to the Commissioners on the subject of the distribution of the State into Divisions This section appears before any reference has been made to the matter of naming Divisions. This sect ion does not have any counterpart in

the Australian States. One might regard this section as enjoining any approach to the Distribution Commissioners otherwise than as set out in s.l8A and s.21. In a sense, it is

the corollary of those provisions. It is to be

noted that not every approach is forbidden but only those which, not having been made as provided by s.l8A and s.21, are made with the intent or purpose to -

" ... influence the Commissioner in the performance of his duties under this Act". The prohibition is wide enough, in my view, to apply to anyone who would so seek to influence the Commissioner by an agent, a messenger or other amanuensis. See also the CorrmonuJeaZth Crimes Act 1914; s. 5-.

The irregularity to which the section directs itself is with respect to -

" ... the performance of his duties

under this Act". It follows that no other writing or speaking or "influencing" is made illegal. One may therefore, without offending the section seek to or actually influence the Commissioner so long as this is not done in relation to a

matter falling within " ... the performance of his duties

under this Act".

14

If naming a Division is not a Commissioner's responsibility and therefore not one of his "duties", to seek to influence him thereon would not be a breach of the law. In my

judgment the naming of Divisions does not form part of the duties of the Distribution Commissioners.

S.23 and S.23A These read -"S.23. The Distribution Commissioners shall as soon as practicable after the

expiration of the period of thirty days referred to in section twenty-one of this Act, forward to the Minister their report upon the distribution of the State into

Divisions, the number of electors residing in each proposed Division, as nearly as can be ascertained, a map signed by the Commissioners showing the boundaries of

each proposed Division, and copies of the suggestions, comments or objections (if any) lodged with the Commissioners in pursuance of section eighteen A or

twenty-one of this Act". "S.23A. A copy of the report and map,

and of the suggestions, comments or objections (if any) shall be laid before each House of the Parliament within five sitting days of that House after the

receipt of the report by the Minister".

The naming of Divisions is for the first time mentioned and explicitly taken up in s.24, viz. -

15

S.24 This reads -"(1) If both Houses of the Parliament pass a resolution approving of any

distribution the Governor-General

shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, whether or not a dissolution or prorogation of the Parliament or a dissolution or expiration of the House of Representatives has since occurred, by proclamation declare the names and boundaries of the Divisions, and such Divisions shall until altered be the Electoral Divisions for the State in which they are situated: Provided that,

until the next ensuing dissolution dr expiration of the House of Representatives, the redistribution shall not affect the election of a new member to fill a vacancy happening in the House of Representatives; but for the purposes of any such election, other than an election to which

(2) of section 25A applies, the Electoral Divisions as theretofore existing, and the Rolls in respect of those Divisions, shall continue to have full force and effect, notwithstanding that new Rolls for the new Divisions have been prepared.

(2) If either House of Parliament passes a resolution disapproving of any proposed distribution, or negatives a motion for the approval of any proposed distribution, the Minister may direct the Distribution Commissioners to propose a fresh distribution of the State into Divisions.

(3) The Distribution Commissioners shall

16

thereupon reconsider the matter, and forthwith propose a fresh distribution, but for that purpose it shall not be

necessary to cause the action provided by section twenty of this Act to be

taken".

Apparently, as mentioned above, the practice in other distributions has been for Commissioners to add a name to their proposed Divisions; though there are instances where the recommended Divisions

in Commissioners' Reports were designated by letters or numbers. (Exhibit AAL6).

[There have been numerous instances in the past of the attaching by Distribution Commissioners to proposed Divisions of names which have not found approval with the Government of the day. What has

occurred in such cases is that the matter of changing the proposed names has been dealt with in Cabinet or Parliament. Exhibit C sets out . a list of names proposed by the Commissioners and changed

in Parliament].

At all events the legislation seems to ignore the question of naming Divisions altogether either as a matter of duty or entitlement of the

Commissioners. It remains a matter within the prerogative of the Governor-General though no doubt he would act on the advice of his Ministers.

In fact the Parliament did approve by Resolution the Divisions by the Queensland Electoral

Commissioners and with the names which they had offered ( see be fore) . Later the· r e - dis t rib u t ion was

17

validated by the Corrnnonwealth EZeatoPaZ (Re-DistPibution) Aat 19?? - but the Statute does not refer to names.

***

18

LAW OF THE COMMONWEALTH

This expression occurs in the Letters Patent. Perhaps it needs no further refinement. It has been referred to thus -a Law of the Commonwealth embraces

every law made by the Parliament whatever the constitutional power under or by reference to which that Law is supported. 1 A breach of such law might or might not constitute

a criminal offence. Instances of a "Law" most relevant to this inquiry are the CommomJealth Electoral Act 1918, s.22 and s.l54 (in which s.154(i) would be read with s.lSS(iii) and s.lSS(iv)).

The researches of counsel and my own survey have not discovered any other law of the Commonwealth which, having regard to the evidence given in the inquiry, should be considered. I have

not overlooked the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914-, s.86, but there is no evidence to support any breach of the section.

Accordingly in considering what may be a relevant Law of the Commonwealth I shall direct my inquiry to s.22 and s.154.

It follows also from what I said earlier

('Analysis of the CommomJealth Electoral Act 1918 Part I I I ') that any breach of s.22 would likely be in relation to the matter of electoral boundaries, since the naming of Divisions is by s.24 committed to the

Governor-General and not to Distribution Commissioners.

19

Therefore I shall consider whether there is any circumstantial or direct evidence of actions (in terms of the Letters Patent) by or on behalf of the

Honourable Eric Robinson or the Distribution Commissioners or any of them to influence a Commissioner in the performance of his duties under the Act, i.e. in the process of distribution. Should any evidence raise an issue as to a breach of s.l54 or of any other legislative provision it can be examined further.

***

20

THE MEANING OF IMPROPRIETY IN THE LETTERS PATENT

The word has various meanings. One may borrow a phrase from another legal context Lord

Hodgson was delivering judgment for the Privy Council which had considered the expression "unfairness to the accused" 2) and say that it is -

"not susceptible of close definition". It refers to an attribute, a quality, of conduct which in the particular circumstances is dishonourable, wrong, unseemly, not fitting, or

unbecoming. It suggests the possibility of conduct in the same circumstances which is honourable, right, seemly, fitting, or becoming. Such conduct would be proper. Implicit in its meaning is the notion that

the behaviour in question is not appropriate for the particular person, i.e. having regard to what is expected from his status or appointment or the trust reposed in him. Against this, one can then measure

the conduct which is in question to determine if there is a shortcoming.

Where in a professional group there has been a charge of professional impropriety brought against a member, the norm or what is proper may be

ascertained by reference to how other members of the group would behave or even by what those other members would regard as correct in the circumstances; and so what is incorrect emerges.

However, to determine a standard of proper behaviour, for the purpose of deciding whether conduct is improper, it is not essential to be able to point to a specific code accepted either

21

generally or by a particular organized or established group. The relevant standard may be capable of being deduced from first principles.

In the use of the word in the Letters Patent

of 24 April 1978 and 30 May 1978, I accept that

there is included conduct which is discreditable, or dishonourable or which amounts to a serious departure from a degree of rectitude either generally recognized, or readily to be deduced from settled principles of public morality. It may imply a departure from standards which the public are entitled to and do expect. Compare the REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO STATEMENTS MADE BY

THE AUDITOR-GENERAL IN HIS ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED

30 JUNE_, 1958_, CONCERNING THE MINISTER FOR HOUSING_, THE

HONOURABLE ABRAM LANDA_, by the Honourable Mr. Justice

L.J. Herron (N.S.W. Parl. Papers No. 53, 1958, V.I., p.l95) from which I quote:

"In the context where the expression is used in the Letters Patent it

suggests conduct which is discreditable or dishonourable or conduct which amounts to a serious or substantial breach of required standards of

rectitude to be expected of a person clothed with the office of a Cabinet Minister".

It may involve disregard of an obligation to observe . appropriate forms and procedures where such forms and procedures are designed intera aZia to preserve confidence in justice or public administration. It

22

may include the use of subterfuge to achieve what ought to be sought openly if it is to be sought at

all.

What is unacceptable behaviour should be discernible when one examines the context where it is found.

Conduct to be so described need not be illegal, but may nevertheless be just as reprehensible as if it were a breach of the law. A failure to make use

of regular and well-established procedures may suggest impropriety or be part of it, depending upon the circumstances.

In CONGRESS AND THE PUBLIC TRUST, a Report of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Special Committee on Congressional Ethics, James C. Kirby, Jr., Executive Director, the former U.S. Chief

Justice Earl Warren is quoted as having said -"Law floats in a sea of Ethics ...

Not everything which is wrong can be outlawed, although everything which is outlawed, is, in our

Western conception, wrong. For many years, legislatures and courts have endeavored to define for corporate and Government officials what constitutes a conflict between

their public responsibilities and their private interests. None has yet been able to state in legal terms

rules that will at the same time

afford both freedom of dynamic action

23

by the individual and protection of the public interest . Every law

designed for such purpose has presumed, and I must necessarily presume, that such laws cannot be effective unless there is law behind

the law; i.e., an ethical concept

on the part of all who accept public

responsibilities".

A question can arise as to a mental element which may be in some instances part of impropriety. No general rule can cover all cases. The state of

mind of the person whose conduct is under scrutiny, the circumstances existing and the status or office occupied by a person whose conduct is in question, or some or one of them may be relevant factors in a

particular situation.

I have read with interest the Report from the Select Committee on Conduct of Session 1976-1977,

which was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons on 13 July 1977. The Committee were acting pursuant to Terms of Reference which required consideration whether certain conduct was

" inconsistent with conduct which the House is entitled to expect from its Members".

This, so the Committee reported, required it

"to give careful consideration to the criteria that should be used in reaching a judgment on such matters".

24

They said

"As to the test of 'standards

which the House is entitled to expect from its Members', your Committee have found it easier to reach a conclusion in each particular case rather than to

expound a general rule".

It seems to me also that the better approach to the matter is to find the relevant facts and

consider concrete instances, in the light of the general views expressed above as to the meaning of the word "impropriety" where it occurs in the Letters Patent, rather than to attempt ·to formulate general

rules or standards of behaviour which should govern the conduct of particular persons in particular situations.

If on any facts noticed there appears to have been impropriety I shall make a finding accordingly.

***

25

DEGREE OF SATISFACTION

One of the difficulties which this inquiry poses is that the Letters Patent do not present precisely defined issues; yet there is required a consideration of possible illegalities or impropriety

by a Minister of the Crown and by Senior Public Servants. Any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety could or may involve something that might possibly affect the election of Members of the House of Representatives. Irregularities in this

area should therefore, it seems, be regarded as serious matters.

I have to consider these possible irregularities not assisted by a standard of proof since, in the nature of things, no one party or person carries an onus. But I consider that the degree of satisfaction which must be brought to my mind, before I accept, as

proven, irregularities which are under consideration, must be proportionate to the gravity of the conclusion.

Statements of the principles which should be observed in this area are found in various legal authorities and text writings 3 from which I select the words of Lord Justice Denning 4 (as he then was) -

"The more serious the allegation the higher the degree of probability that is required".

I proceed to consider if by circumstantial or direct evidence I am satisfied that any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety as set out in

27

the Letters Patent occurred in the re-distribution to which they refer.

***

28

THE USE OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Earlier I have referred to the difficulty due to the lack of precisely defined issues.

It will be convenient to extract from the evidence every allegation of fact which could by itself or with others establish circumstantially any breach. of a law of the Commonwealth or

impropriety by the Honourable Eric Robinson or the Distribution Commissioners or any of them.

Against these allegations which might be considered in the same way as a formal charge or count in a criminal case, one may consider -

(i) if facts and circumstances are

proved; and

(ii) from them, by the operation of

the principles governing the use of circumstantial evidence, a breach of a law of the Commonwealth and/or impropriety is ·established.

In WILLS ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, 6th American Edition, at p.l6 it is said -

"Circumstantial evidence is of a nature identically the same with direct evidence; the distinction is, that by direct evidence is intended

evidence which applies directly to the fact which forms the subject of inquiry, the factum probandum; Circumstantial evidence is ·equally

29

direct in its nature, but, as its

name imports, it is direct evidence of a minor fact or facts, incidental to or usually connected with some other fact as its accident, and from which such other fact is therefore

inferred".

In the use of circumstantial evidence, principles including the following are to be observed -

1. The commission of a criminal act may

be proven by this class of evidence only - i.e. with or without the

assistance of direct evidence. 2. The issue in a civil case may also

be thus proven. Examples of its use

are to be found in various authorities. 5 3. In a criminal case the guilt of an

accused should not be regarded as proven unless every reasonable hypothesis or explanation of the facts consistent with innocence has

6

been excluded. 4. One of the circumstances which one

should consider is the denial of any wrongdoing by the person whose conduct is in question. 5. An accepted method of using

circumstantial evidence involves three separate enquiries -(i) has there been established

a particular fact or circumstance (which I shall

30

call a "primary" fact)? (ii) does this fact or circumstance

by itself or with others tend towards proof of a breach of a

law of the Commonwealth or impropriety? (iii) - the ultimate enquiry - on a

consideration of all the established "primary" facts, has a breach of the law or

impropriety been established? 6. The existence of a motive may be an

element in or part of circumstantial "d 7 ev1 ence.

I am mindful that circumstantial evidence may also tend to prove that a person did not breach a

law or act in a way which constituted impropriety.

***

31

LETTERS PATENT SIGNED 24 APRIL 1978

ANALYSIS OF ALLEGED /FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES FROM

WHICH MIGHT BE INFERRED ANY BREACH OF A LAW OF

THE COMMONWEALTH OR IMPROPRIETY ON THE PART OF THE

HONOURABLE ERIC ROBINSON

OR THE DISTRIBUTION COMMISSIONERS

There has been prepared from the evidence whatever may be distilled or compressed into a fact or circumstance, which could conceivably be said to point to a breach of the law, an example of

impropriety or material from which singly or with other facts either could be inferred. These facts and circumstances are as follows -

1. That the Honourable Eric Robinson recommended the appointment of Mr. F.J. Coleman as Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland.

2. That the Government failed to

consult the Honourable D.J. Killen on Mr. Seymour's appointment as third Commissioner for Queensland.

3. That in March 1977 the Honourable

Eric Robinson said to Mr. Cameron "The National Party has approached me regarding the appointment of the

third Commissioner. I am not going to have a bar of them having their

fingers in it".

4. That Mr. Serisier was so unhappy

with the re-distribution proposals

34

that for a time he refused to _sign

the Report by the Distribution Commissioners. 5. That in late October Senator the

Right Honourable R.G. Withers said to Mr. Cameron that any blame for re-distribution would lie at the feet of the Honourable Eric Robinson.

6. That Mr. J.J. Teulan was asked by

the Honourable Eric Robinson to prepare a map of a new electorate in McPherson.

7. That Mr. Teulan's "Submission" as to

re-distribution very closely corresponded with the Commissioners' proposal.

8. That the Honourable Eric Robinson was promoting- Mr. J.J. Teulan at a luncheon they both attended at the Logan and Albert Hotel, Beaudesert

on 26 July 1977 as a candidate for

preselection.

9. (a) That at the Beaudesert luncheon

on 26 July 1977 the Honourable Eric Robinson said that the new electorate in the east of the old Division of

"McPherson" would be named "Gold Coast"; (b) That at the Beaudesert luncheon

the Honourable Eric Robinson made other remarks about the pending re-distribution

35

that indicated knowledge of what was going to occur.

10. Change of name -

(a) That at a Liberal Party meeting

in Brisbane the Honourable Eric Robinson reported the objection of Sir Alan Hulme, K.B.E. to the name "Gold Coast";

(b) That at a Liberal Party meeting

in Brisbane a decision that the name be changed in Parliament was taken; (c) That the name of the electorate

was changed between 10 August 1977 and 26 September 1977 without any request through the statutory channels.

11. That it was rumoured in Liberal Party circles that in the Distribution process Mr. D.F. Jull, M.P. was "the one to go" and that this may be

achieved by interference from outside.

Each alleged fact or circumstance will then be considered separately to enable a decision to be made as to whether -(i) it has been established to my

satisfaction by the evidence to become what I term a "primary" fact; (ii) it is material which supports

an inference of either; Finally (iii) on a total consideration of all

36

"primary" facts or circumstances which have been to my

satisfaction I should conclude that some breach of a law of the

Commonwealth or act of impropriety has been committed by any of the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

I proceed to consider the evidence in relation to the alleged facts and circumstances.

1. That the Honourable Eric Robinson recommended the appointment of Mr. F.J. Coleman as Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland.

This matter was first referred to by Mr. Cameron's Counsel in his opening submissions and in a statement by Mr. Cameron, Exhibit Gl. The significance to be attached to and inference sought to be drawn from it was that the Honourable Eric Robinson was in a

position to influence Mr. Coleman, presumably on the basis that Mr. Coleman might feel a sense of obligation to him.

It should be noticed that Mr. Coleman had had a successful career in the Electoral Office in Queensland. In 1957 he joined the Electoral Office in Dalby. In July 1967 he was appointed Divisional

Returning Officer for Southport - some five years before the Honourable Eric Robinson was elected to the seat of McPherson. Mr. Coleman left Southport in February 1975, i.e. ten months before the Honourable Eric Robinson became Minister for Post

and Telecommunications and some twenty-two months

37

before he became a member of the Cabinet. Whatever chance of association there was - and there seems to have been little - between the two, would be reduced after this move. Although Mr. Coleman left Southport

in February 1975, in the year 1974 he worked in succession in various high offices in Queensland, Canberra and South Australia. He left Southport in February 1975 to work with W.D. Scott Management Consultants in Sydney where he remained seconded until 7 April 1975 when he was transferred to Canberra. It follows, and the evidence is, that he

had never performed duties in Southport or in the McPherson electorate since the end of February 1975 other than such supervisory duties required of him upon appointment as Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland.

On 9 August 1976 he was appointed Acting

Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland in which capacity he worked for one month; then returned to Canberra. He returned to the same duty in Queensland for about two days towards the end of 1976. He was formally appointed to his present office on 1 January 1977.

Thus it emerges that he was a person of

considerable experience to this time, whose various appointments adequately fitted him for advancement. Professor Hughes, whose evidence has not been questioned by anybody and whose authority to speak and qualifications entitle him to respect, said this of him -

" On the 20th day of May 1978 in

consultation with the Distribution

38

Commissioners' legal advisers I volunteered the opinion, and I adhere to it, that Mr. Frank

Coleman who was in 1975 the Divisional Returning Officer for McPherson, and whom in turn with a substantial number of other

Divisional Returning Officers in Queensland, I interviewed, struck me as easily the most imp!essive

and efficient Divisional Returning Officer among those I had met in the State".

The Honourable Eric Robinson had had some experience of Mr. Coleman and agrees that he mentioned the name of Mr. Coleman favourably to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers.

The terms of the CorrnnonweaZth EZectoraZ Act 1918, s.l6, ought to be noted namely -"16. (1) . For the purpose of the

distribution of a State into Divisions in accordance with this Act the Governor-General shall appoint three Distribution

Commissioners, of whom one shall be the Chief Electoral Officer or an officer having similar qualifications, and, if his services

are obtainable, one shall be the Surveyor-General of the State or an officer having similar qualifications.

39

(2) The Governor-General shall appoint one of the Distribution Commissioners to be Chairman. (3) The Distribution Commissioners shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General".

Apparently in the ordinary course of events it was the practice to regard the Australian Electoral Officer for a State as the person falling into the first of the categories mentioned in s.l6(1). Accordingly, it was most likely in due course that, having been appointed to the first office, he would become a Distribution Commissioner when the occasion

arose. Further, it should be remembered that the first appointment was a statutory appointment made by Cabinet.

Evidence which I accept establishes that the Honourable Eric Robinson never told Mr. Coleman of his part in the latter's appointment and that Mr. Coleman was unaware of the Honourable Eric

Robinson's favourable mention of him for appointment to the office of Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland.

There does not appear to be anything out of

the ordinary in the Member for McPherson speaking favourably of a competent Public Servant of whom he had some experience; nor anything unusual in the statutory appointment, of which, according to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers, some .

2,000 are made annually.

40

The evidence therefore leaves one without any material upon which it could be said that the appointment in due course would persuade Mr. Coleman to show any favouritism, in any action he performed,

towards the Honourable Eric Robinson, nor did the recommendation itself suggest that some influence would be brought to bear by the Honourable Eric Robinson on Mr. Coleman in his role of Chairman of

the Distribution Commissioners.

Even if it were possible to disbelieve the sworn evidence of the Honourable Eric Robinson and Mr. Coleman that no communication passed between them either on the subject of Mr. Coleman's

appointment or on the distribution process, such a disbelief does not thereby enable one to infer that there was such a

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

2. That the Government failed to consult the

Honourable D.J. Killen on Mr. Seymour's appointment as third Commissioner for Queensland.

Mr. Seymour served with distinction in the Royal Australian Air Force. I take up his Public Service career in 1960, since when he has served in the following capacities in the Commonwealth Public Service

in Queensland firstly, as Regional Director, Department of Civil Aviation; then, as Regional Director (Air Transport Group), Department of Transport; since 1977 he has been Regional Director, Department

41

of Transport. It was during the course of his

present appointment that he served as the third Distribution Commissioner for Queensland.

The name of Mr. Seymour, as a potential Distribution Commissioner, was first put forward by Mr. Pearson. The Honourable Eric Robinson, who had had some dealings with him, described him

as a -

" courteous helpful and

capable officer".

Mr. Cameron, giving evidence of his knowledge of Mr. Seymour in December 1977, said-

Q. In short, you discovered

that he was a man in the

twilight of a very distinguished career in the public service after a distinguished war record;

is that so?

A. Yes.

Q. A man without anything to

fear or with any expectations in the public service? A. Correct.

Later he agreed with the suggestion that Mr. Seymour had had "'"

"a distinguished administrative career in the public service".

42

Assisted by my own observation of Mr. Seymour I consider these comments and descriptions are appropriate and justified on the evidence.

Mr. Cameron gave of the "failure" to

consult the Honourable D.J. Killen about the appointment . and there being no evidence to the contrary I accept it. He spoke of such a

consultation as if it were a Party practice, which had not been observed in this instance; then said that it

" has been a custom"

which had been breached; but when cross-examined he referred to it as something which he had encountered only once, viz. in 1968.

There is no evidence that to advise or consult the Honourable Mr. Killen was a duty which devolved on or was required of the Honourable Eric Robinson. The word "failure" with its overtones, is not apt

to describe a situation where there was no consultation.

In my view there could not on this evidence be said to have been anything unusual or suspicious in the "failure" to consult the Honourable D.J. Killen on the appointment of Mr. Seymour.

Even if it had been proved that the Honourable Eric Robinson deliberately avoided (of which there is no evidence) the alleged practice so as to

arrange that a person who might do him a favour be

43

24571178- 3

appointed, one might infer guilty disposition, but no lliore. Mr. Seymour would not in my assessment of him do anyone a favour in such circumstances.

In my view there has not been established . here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

3. That in March 1977 the Honourable Eric

Robinson said to Mr. Cameron -

"The National Party has approached me regarding the appointment of

the third I am not

going to have a bar of them having

their fingers in it".

Presumably from this statement, if accepted, one would be asked to infer that the Honourable Eric Robinson had a special interest in the appointment of a third Commissioner and was opposing one appointment so that he could arrange another who would be more favourably disposed to his interests.

Mr. Cameron gave evidence as set out above. The Honourable Eric Robinson has agreed that he made the statement or at least spoke words to that effect except as to an approach by the National Party. The context or circumstances in which the statement was made, as Mr. Cameron agrees, could alter the significance one attached to it. This was discussed with Mr. Cameron in cross-examination as follows -

Q. Let me put to you this hypothesis:

44

that Mr. Robinson had been approached by a fellow Minister and asked to express an opinion about the suitability for

appointment, as the third Federal Re-distribution Commissioner in Queensland, of a gentleman who had an active part in State re-distributions.

Do you understand the hypothesis?

A. I do.

Q. On that hypothesis the words that

you attribtite to Mr. Robinson are perfectly understandable on a proper basis, are they not? A. In terms of the explanation you

have given, yes. Q. I am putting to you an hypothesis,

you see?

A. Yes.

Q. That a Minister of the Crown - a

ministerial colleague of Mr. Robinson had come to Mr. Robinson and asked him for a view about the suitability for

appointment as a re-distribution Commissioner in Queensland of a gentleman who had had a part to play as a Distribution Commissioner

in State distributions of electoral boundaries? A. I would be wary of the person

myself.

The Honourable Eric Robinson's expianation of this

45

matter accords with the hypothesis put to Mr. Cameron. His words are -

"Mr. Cameron has referred to a meeting in March 1977 at which, so he says, I informed those

present (including him) that I had been approached by the National Party with respect to the appointment of a third commissioner and I did not want

'them putting their fingers in the matter' on (sic) words to

that effect. Mr. Cameron has said that in this

context I used the words, 'I am

not going to have a bar of them

having their fingers in it'. I

remember using some such words as those set out immediately above and in quotation marks but this expressed my firm belief that the appointment of the person who had been a State Electoral Commissioner and whose name had been mentioned to me by Senator Withers would be undesirable. I did not say that I

had been 'approached by the National Party ... ' as alleged by Mr. Cameron.

I, in fact, had not been so approached".

It would be curious if the Honourable Eric Robinson were not interested in the distribution process and it is understandable that he might have spoken as he claims in the context set out. If one

46

gives the statement attributed to the Honourable Eric Robinson its most sinister significance, one could deduce he had some particular interest in the appointment of Distribution Commissioners, or that

the National Party thought he had.

The fact or circumstance that the Honourable Eric Robinson used the words (except those denied) attributed to him I regard as proven. I do not

consider that the fact is such that it is capable

of supporting circumstantially an allegation of illegality or impropriety.

Finally it is to be observed that the third

Commissioner appointed (Mr. Seymour) was a person whose established integrity remains untarnished in this Inquiry.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

4. That Mr. Serisier was so unhappy with the

re-distribution proposals that for a time he refused to sign the Report by the

Mr. Serisier who is presently, and was when Distribution Commissioner, Surveyor-General for the State of Queensland (an appointment he has held since 1 July 1975), alsn holds the following

positions : President of the Surveyors Board of

47

Queensland; Chairman of both the Place Names Board and Place Names Committee; Chairman of the Mapping and Surveying Committee; member of the National Mapping Council; member of the Recess Committee of

the Australian Surveyors Board; Chairman of the Mapping and Surveying Advisory Council; member of the Engineering Faculty Board of the University of Queensland and member of the Engineering Academic Board of the Queensland Institute of Technology.

His uncontradicted evidence further is that his appointment is at the level of an Under Secretary in the hierarchy of State Government Officers, and he is the Permanent Head of the Department of Mapping and Surveying. His appointment is a State Government Cabinet appointment.

It is clear from all the evidence that

Mr. $erisier has had a long and successful career in his calling. I accept him as a witness of truth.

Presumably if what appears above were established as a fact, the inference sought to be drawn would be that some improper attempt had been made to seek to influence two of the Commissioners

in the performance of their duties and that they in turn had produced a Report which did not reflect the agreement of all or was not in accordance with the Act and was then unacceptable to the third; or that

two of them similarly were seeking to influence a third Commissioner to agree to such a Report.

This assertion was the result of a rumour Mr. Cameron heard, so he says, from Mr. Davies, who

48

is an active member of the Liberal Party, and a licensed surveyor with considerable involvement in the affairs of the Australian Institute of Surveyors.

Mr. Cameron deals with this matter· in various words of which the most compact form is -

"I believed that they had - the

other two had brought in a map, placed it (sic) and said, 'This

is it', something to that effect, 'This is it', and that one of the

commissioners had refused to sign for a period of two days".

Mr. Cameron also said that Mr. Serisier was the gentleman referred t6 as refusing to sign. Mr. Davies gave his own version of what he told Mr. Cameron -

"I did not tell Mr. Cameron that I was present when two (2) Commissioners brought in a map and said to the other commissioner

'This is it'. I was never present

when there was a discussion between the commissioners. I cannot remember whether I told him that I had heard a rumour to that

effect. I never told Mr. Cameron as a question of fact that one of

the commissioners had been so concerned that he virtually refused to sign it for (2) days. However,

49

I did tell him that I had heard

a rumour to that effect".

I note that portion of the alleged rumour, upon which Mr. Cameron placed reliance, is not supported by his informant. There is no reason to prefer the evidence of Mr. Cameron to that of Mr. Davies.

Mr. Serisier's evidence on this topic is -

"I have heard some of the evidence which has so far been .given in this inquiry and have noted that the suggestion has been made that one commissioner resolutely refused for a total period of two days to

sign the commissioners' report. This is a false assertion. The

results which were reached by the commissioners were in the true sense of the term consensual results which were reached after long and

on occasions almost exhaustive debate. Certainly there .were matters upon which the commissioners disagreed from time to time but any

disagreements had been thoroughly resolved well before the time of the preparation of the draft report let alone the presentation of the final report. Regarding the statements by Mr. Cameron I have this to say :-

1) At no time during the course of

so

the re-distribution was I disenchanted with the way the re-distribution had been carried out. 2) At no time did I ever refuse

to sign the report.

3) At no time was I desperately

unhappy about what occurred in the re-distribution. 4) At no time did I feel that the

minds of the other commissioners were not open in respect of the

re-distribution. 5) At no time did I desperately

consider making a minority report.

I accept these statements without reservation as both truthful and a correct version of events.

Other persons who assisted the Commissioners gave evidence, viz. Mr. R.C. Lloyd and Miss E.J. Wight. Mr. Lloyd who had however nothing to do with preparing the Report (being concerned only with maps)

had no knowledge of any suggestion that one Commissioner -

" remained obdurate about signing

the report or anything of that kind".

Miss Wight who acted as a clerical assistant to the Commissioners said -

"I cannot recall anything about a suggestion of a minority report.

51

Each Commissioner fully participated and put forward his own views. There were a few minor disputes which were sorted out, it seemed to everyone's satisfaction".

From all this I am satisfied that the alleged factual content of what was never more than a rumour (and as such no evidentiary value) is refuted by the explicit evidence of Mr. Serisier. It follows that

I do not accept that two Commissioners brought in a map, used words like "This is it"; or that any one

of the Area Commissioners refused to sign a Report. What was a rumour had, on examination, no factual basis.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

5. That in late October Senator the Right

Honourable R.G. Withers said to Mr. Cameron that any blame for re-distribution would lie at the feet of the Honourable Eric Robinson.

If what appears above were established, I assume the process of argument, however tortuous, would be that Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers implied that the Honourable Eric Robinson

could manipulate or influence the re-distribution process and had done so, and that the Commissioners had acquiesed in or implemented his wishes.

52

It should be noted that Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers categorically denies that he spoke thus to Mr. Cameron. Even if he had, the

inference one would be asked to draw presumably is that the Honourable Eric Robinson did, in some way not specified, affect the distribution, being the distribution which is the subject of this inquiry.

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers' belief or opinion would not be material from which one should draw an inference adverse to the Honourable Eric Robinson or the Distribution Commissioners;

particularly when he and the three Distribution Commissioners unequivocally deny any communication directly or indirectly between them or any exercise of influence upon the Commissioners by the Honourable Eric Robinson.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

6. That Mr. J.J. Teulan was asked by the

Honourable Eric Robinson to prepare a map of a new electorate in McPherson.

The implication in this proposition is that the Honourable Eric Robinson sought the production of a map which would depict a distribution of the old electoral Division of McPherson to suit his purposes.

Those purposes may have included furthering the career of Mr. Teulan. On another occasion (to which

53

I refer later) the Honourable Eric Robinson was said to be "promoting" this gentleman.

Mr. Cameron's evidence upon this subject is of a conversation he claims to have had with Mr. Teulan. Therefore at that point it is not evidence against the Honourable Eric Robinson. It may be that in the circumstances Mr. Teulan could have had some reason to exaggerate the extent to which he was in the

confidence of the Honourable Eric Robinson or of his intimate knowledge of the total area, possibly to persuade Mr. Cameron he was such a formidable opponent in the coming preselection for "Fadden" that Mr. Cameron would do well to look elsewhere for

re-election. Thus Mr. Teulan, at 30 October 1977, had every reason to impress Mr. Cameron with his (Teulan's) prospects of gaining that preselection and to encourage Mr. Cameron to contest the seat for Brisbane rather than "Fadden"; in fact Mr. Cameron

told Mr. Teulan that he was thinking very seriously about this. Further, Mr. Cameron was of such a frame of mind that he would be likely perhaps to misunderstand a statement which was made to him,

reflecting some possibly dishonourable view of how the distribution had been carried out.

However, the evidence of the Honourable Eric Robinson and Mr. Teulan denies that there was ever any request from the one to the other to prepare a

map. Mr. Teulan denies that any map was ever prepared. Earlier I have remarked that the effect of disbelieving evidence is not to support or create 8

evidence or proof to the contrary. It follows that

even if the denials are rejected, there has not thus been proven that a map was prepared. Mr. Cameron

54

agreed in cross-examination that he never inquired of the Honourable Eric Robinson if he had asked Mr. Teulan to prepare a map.

I do not accept that Mr. Teulan was ever asked

to prepare a map or that he did so. No such map

was ever seen by the Distribution Commissioners whose evidence I accept on this point. Indeed I am

satisfied that there never was any such map.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

7. That Mr. J.J. Teulan's "Submission" as to

re-distribution very cf6sely corresponded with the Commissioners' proposal.

Before considering the significance of this suggestion I mention two matters of evidence.

The "Submission" in question is Exhibit H. Mr. Cameron's evidence on this matter includes his Statement, Exhibit Gl. He wrote there -

"I have also prepared a further map based on a submission that I have seen that is contained in a letter

from Mr. Teulan to the Liberal Party dated the 17th May, 1977. The

members of the committee dealing with

55

these matters rejected Mr. Teulan's submission and it finds no place in the Li beral Party submissions to the commissioners. Consequently, if Mr. Teulan's submission reached the

Commissioners, it did not reach them via the Liberal Party. Mr. Teulan's submission was accurate to the extent that in exces s o f 50 , 000 of the final

voters in the new seat of 65,894 were by him. As well he

acknowledged in his submission that the sub-division of Boonah with voters in excess of 3,000 may have to be brought into the new electorate. Mr. Teulan's submission more

accurately fo r eshadowed the highest percentage of voters in the new electorate than did any other submission. In terms of the actual

orientation of the new seat, it is different from that proposed by Mr. Teulan only by virtue of where the urban content came from and the number of voters".

He prepared the map to which he refers as

expressing in cartographic what Exhibit H

describes (Exhibit Gl2).

The significance of this assertion is that it implies an illegal act by the Honourable Eric Robinson and the Distribution Commissioners i.e. that the former made use of Mr. Teulan's submission to communicate with and influence the Distribution

56

Commissioners in the fixing of boundaries of Electoral Divisions, otherwise than by recourse to the procedures laid down in the Commonwealth Electoral Act ss .18A and 21, and that the

Distribution Commissioners received or entertained such communication. The assertion assisted by other "primary" facts or circumstances, if any, would include the following components -

(i) the Honourable Eric Robinson was promoting or showing patronage to Mr. Teulan; (ii) he was doing that to the end

that Mr. Teulan would gain preselection for the western area of the old "McPherson" Division; (iii) Mr. Teulan at the behest of the

Honourable Eric Robinson prepared a submission (Dr. Hughes, to whom I refer later, would not have agreed it could be called

more than a "proposal") including a map of a Division of the old electorate of "McPherson" which would provide

a suitable seat for the Liberal candidate for the western area of the old "McPherson"; (iv) Mr. Teulan gave the map and the

submission to the Honourable Eric Robinson; (v) the Honourable Eric Robinson used this submission with or without

the map to convey his wishes to

57

the Distribution Commissioners or some or one of them and thus

to seek to influence them; (vi) he did this otherwise than

through the processes laid down in s.l8A and s.21 and hence in breach of the law; (vii)

(viii)

the Distribution Commissioners in utter disregard of their duty received or entertained this illegal communication; with the result that the

so closely followed

the Teulan map/submission as to reveal or confirm that it was based on or influenced by it.

It is necessary to read this process of elongation with another statement attributed to Mr. Teulan by Mr. Cameron -

"I asked him who was backing him. He said 'Obvious people like Eric

Robinson'. He said 'I have such

an involvement that I · was asked by a Minister to draw up the map of

how the new Federal seat should be. I handed the map to the Minister and also delivered the submission to Liberal Party Headquarters. Mr. Teulan 'the seat came out

exactly as I suggested'. I put a

large rural · area in the electorate to discourage anyone from the city from nominating".

58

Already I have stated that I am satisfied there was never any such map.

However, I will examine that part of the train of circumstances as depends upon there being a correspondence between what appears in . the Teulan "submission" (or "proposal") Exhibit H and what

finally became the seat of "Fadden".

It is to be remembered that a splitting up of

the (old) seat of "McPherson" was, on any version of the evidence, inevitable. It contained 114,067 electors, whereas the quota for Queensland was 65,877; the distribution, making two seats, almost

certainly would provide a coastal seat (which I will call the eastern electorate), not only because of the concentration of electors in the area of the City of the Gold Coast but also because there were

obvious boundaries viz. -

1. On the east - the coast.

2. On the south - -the New South

Wales border including, perhaps, the McPherson Range. 3. On the west - the Darlington

Range which in general terms might have been regarded as the most westerly prominent feature of what was

predominantly a coastal area.

The northern boundary (travelling east-west) of the Division might be expected to stop short of - or not

to approach too closely the Brisbane "spread", since

59

its size and its area would be limited by the

number of electors the quota allowed it to contain.

If the eastern electorate in this fashion very largely located itself (as the evidence indicates), it is not surprising that there was a large measure of agreement between those who put in submissions as to this electorate. Dr. Hughes, an independent expert in this field who gave evidence and whose evidence I accept, speaking of the eastern electorate, said (Exhibit AAB) -

"All 5 suggestions in 1977, from the 4 political parties and my own, proposed an urban division comprising the 5 urban subdivisions. The Australia Party stopped with the 5,

the other 4 suggested additions of a small number of electors from the Beenleigh subdivision between 1000 and 3000 voters. The Labor Party also proposed removal of part of the Nerang subdivision but without

specifying a number of electors, and I think that idea was mistaken because I doubt that there is any convenient line on which to divide the Nerang subdivision and further the full enrolment of Nerang would be needed to get the total number up because of the 5,000 square kilometre requirement. The Distribution Commissioners proposed a division comprising the 5 urban subdivisions plus 875 electors from Beenleigh

60

subdivision. Thus one can say there was general agreement on the nature of· this division".

The effect of this is to leave the remainder of the

old "McPherson" (what I call the western Division) with -

(a) the number of electors

somewhat below the quota; cf. CommorMealth Electoral Act 1918, s.l9;

(b) its eastern boundary settled as being the western boundary of the easterly electorate; (c) its southern boundary the

border - McPherson Range; (d) its character largely rural,

or with a significant rural component.

Due regard would still have to be accorded in any fixing of boundaries to the existence of other Divisions, whose integrity ought, other things being equal, be maintained or at least respected.

Dr. Hughes in discussing the western electorate thought there were two possible ways to plan it viz. -

He said -

"The real difficulty arose over what to do with the residue of McPherson, the roughly 48,000 electors left over

61

after the excision of the urban area of Gold Coast. One solution was to

'top up' their number to reach a

quota".

"The alternative to 'topping up' the residue of McPherson would be to divide it and allocate portions to other divisions. An obvious basis for such a division would be into -

(1) Beenleigh subdivision in the east, pretty well urbanized by this stage, and

(2) the remaining four subdivisions (Beaudesert, Boonah, Harrisville, Rosewood) to the west, three of which were

starting to receive urban overspill but still predominantly rural in character I think".

Commenting on Mr. Teulan's submission, he wrote (Exhibit AAB) -"Mr. Teulan's proposal is not an adequate solution to the problem.

He proposed combining Beenleigh

and Beaudesert with (A) Mount Gravatt and Wishart from Bowman and (B) either Belmont from Bowman

or Inala East from Oxley. He did not provide for the

remaining three rural subdivisions

62

(Boonah, Harrisville, Rosewood). His total enrolment of 75,500 or 76,000 exceeded the permissible maximum of 72,500 by several

thousand, and for the fastest growing region of the State".

Looking at the solution proposed by Mr. Teulan, one derives further assistance from Exhibit AAAA. That Exhibit analyses how the components by population and area of the Distribution as made

contrasted with that proposed by Mr. Teulan. It sets out the two versions offered by Mr. Teulan and I reproduce it on the following page -

63

PRESENT FADDEN TEULAN A

Beenleigh 34,944 682 Km

2

Beenleigh 35,819 936 Km2

Beaudesert 6,371 2170 Km2 Beaudesert 6,371 2170 Km2

Belmont 802 30.5 Km

2

Belmont 7,697 78 Km2

(part south Mt.Gravatt 11,700 6 .5 Km2 of Mt. Cotton Rd.) Wishart 142051 16.5 Km2 Wishart 535 2.5 Km 2 75,638 3207 Ki (part south of Bulimba Ck.) Boonah 3,181 1320 Km 2 Coopers Plains 7,717 17.5 Km 2 Acacia Ridge 3,979 5.5 Km2 Inala East 8 2365 92 Km2 TOTAL 65,894 4320 Km2 PRESENT FADDEN TEULAN B Beenleigh 34,944 682 Km2 Beenleigh 35,819 936 Km2 Beaudesert 6,371 2170 Km2 Beaudesert 6,371 2170 Km2 Belmont 802 30.5 Km2 Inala East 8,365 92 Km2 (part south 2 of Mt. Mt.Gravatt 11,700 6.5 Km 2 Cotton Rd.) Wishart 142051 16.5 Km Wishart 535 2.5 Km 2 76,306 3221 Km2 (part south of Bulimba Ck.) This proposal preferred Boonah 3,181 1320 Km2 Coopers Plains 7,717 17.5 Km 2 Acacia Ridge 3,979 5.5 Km2 Inala East 8 2365 92 Km 2 TOTAL 65,894 4320 Km2 His "preferred" version would have the western 2 electorate including 76,306 electors and 3221 Km , whereas the Distribution Commissioners proposal was 64

for 65,894 electors and 4320 Km 2 . Further the Distribution Commissioners included 802 electors and 30.5 Km 2 of Belmont. In his "preferred" submission, Mr. Teulan did not include any of these

electors or that area. He included Mt. Gravatt (11,700 electors and 6.5 Km 2), whereas the Distribution Commissioners did not. Other differences are apparent on looking at the Exhibit.

There had to be some similarity between the western Divisions proposed by the Distribution Commissioners and any submission which accepted the concept of the eastern Division, which all

submissions followed. Mr. Cameron agreed that there could be similarity without room for suspicion.

Mr. Cameron is the first elected Member for the new Division of "Fadden". To the extent that he might thus be thought to have some knowledge of where boundaries might have been fixed, it may be worth noting what he said in cross-examination to

counsel for the Distribution Commissioners -

Q. Now, Mr. Cameron, I may be

quite wrong about this, but I want to know just precisely - I do not think I have heard

it yet from you - just precisely

what is wrong in your mind with the electoral boundaries of Fadden and McPherson as they stand now? A. The boundaries of Fadden ...

Q. And McPherson, now. What do

65

you say the electoral commissioners did wrong in relation to those boundaries? A. I have never ever made

comment in relation to the boundaries of the - what is

now known as the McPherson electorate. Okay? Q. So that can we take it that

Mr. Robinson derived no favour, no advantage, from anything that the commissioners did in relation to the McPherson boundaries? A. The Gold Coast boundaries as

we know them?

Q. You know what I am talking

about. Let us not bandy ... ?

A. No, there was never any

suggestion at any stage that Mr. Robinson used influence or influence was lent to give him the boundaries which are his are now his electorate.

Q. And you have got no complaint

about the Fadden boundaries either, have you? A. Complaint about the boundaries? Q. As a result of a proper

re-distribution exercise? A. Yes, I have.

. . . . . . . . ............................. .

Q. Are you in any way critical of

the boundaries of the current Fadden electorate?

66

A. To the extent of how did

the commissioners arrive at the boundaries? Q. Do not worry about the

process that they went through, Mr. Cameron. You know I was not asking you about that. I am asking you

about the boundaries themselves. Are you in any way · critical of the boundaries? A. If that's the way the

commissioner saw the boundaries

Q. I am not interested in what you

think of them. Are you

critical of them or not in any

way? Do you have any criticism to offer? A. In terms of practicalities, on

occasions yes. But boundaries are aren't they?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......... .

Q. Do you agree that the result

which was achieved was the sort of result that fair-minded, conscientious people could very easily reach? A. To the boundaries of the new

seat we are talking about? Q. Yes?

A. Anything could happen about the

creation of a new seat.

67

Q. I am not interested in what

could happen. I am asking

you whether the result which did occur was a result that

fair-minded conscientious people should properly reach? A. They may, yes.

I am not persuaded that Mr. Teulan's "submission" (or "proposal") could be said to have a marked similarity to the Distribution proposed on 10 August 1977 and maintained on 26 September 1977. Nor do I consider that any similarity it has to the said Distribution is such as to provide evidence that it was made available by the Honourable Eric Robinson

to, or received by, seen or considered by the Distribution Commissioners or any of them.

It should also be noted, as relevant on the

probabilities, that if the Honourable Eric Robinson had been active or complicit in some covert approach to the Distribution Commissioners in the way alleged, he would have been supporting a proposal at variance with his own Party's contentions. I refer to the

Liberal Party submission to the Distribution Commissioners which is Exhibit FS. This seems unlikely. There is a measure of inherent improbability in an allegation that the Honourable Eric Robinson was exercising improper influence

against the proposals of the Liberal Party.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

68

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

8. That the Honourable Eric ·Robinson was promoting Mr. J.J. Teulan at a luncheon they both attended at the "Logan and Albert" Hotel, Beaudesert on 26 July 1977 as a candidate for

preselection.

The significance of the promotion, one might infer, is that the Honourable Eric Robinson who, it was suggested, had some inside knowledge of the future Electoral Divisions about to emerge from his

former electorate of "McPherson", was showing some patronage of the intending candidate Mr. Teulan and doing so even before the announcement on 10 August 1977 of what might be regarded as the interim

proposal for distribution of the seat of "McPherson". The further implication with other facts is that the Honourable Eric Robinson could have influenced the fixing of the boundaries of the new seat to include

Beaudesert, and being aware of its new name, was furthering the cause of his protege.

Luncheon at Beaudesert

This function was arranged after Mrs. P. Tuffs, a field officer of the Liberal Party in the Division of "McPherson" (old and new) reminded the Honourable Eric Robinson, the then Member for the old "McPherson"

electorate, that it had been some time since he had visited the Beaudesert Branch. Apparently she Jelieved the members of the Liberal Party Branch felt they did not receive enough support from the

irea Executive; He told her he would be able to visit

the area in July during Parliament Accordingly

69

she wrote to Mr. Don Rostedt, the Secretary of the Branch, asking for suggested dates in July and later she telephoned him to arrange a date which would allow the Honourable Eric Robinson to meet the Boonah Shire Councillors in the morning and attend a luncheon with Beaudesert Branch members and friends. The Honourable Eric Robinson asked Mr. James, the President of the Beaudesert Branch of the Liberal Party, to arrange a "meet the people" luncheon in Beaudesert whereupon the latter contacted people he considered would be a broad cross-section of the community. Mr. Teulan has been mentioned earlier. The circumstances whereby he

came are set out in Mrs. Tuff's evidence, i.e. he

was not invited by, but sought permission to attend from, and was granted it by the Honourable Eric Robinson, after she pointed out to him that the Area Chairman of the Liberal Party in the "McPherson"

Division (Mr. Brough) was not available. Thereafter, it seems Mr. Teulan was invited by Mr. James in a telephone conversation.

Thereupon the venue having been fixed as the "Logan and Albert" Hotel, the participants arrived and were met by Mrs. Tuffs. The Honourable Eric Robinson was the last to arrive. Two of the men

who attended were members of the National Party, i.e. Mr. Joyce and Mr. Trier. In due course Mr. James

introduced the Honourable Eric Robinson. There were various questions asked of him one of which is recorded in Mr. Joyce's notebook (Exhibit AG). Towards the close of the luncheon he spoke for about

fifteen minutes and answered questions.

The allegation as to Mr. Teulan being promoted

70

appeared in a Statutory Declaration (Exhibit G2), prepared at the request of Mr. Cameron, M.P. on 28 March 1978, i.e. before any Patent were

issued and tabled in Parliament. This Declaration was declared by four persons viz. -

Mrs. J. Blunck Mr. M.B. Joyce Mrs. M. Rostedt Mr. J.P. Trier

The Circumstances in which Statutory Declaration dated 28 March 1978, Exhibit G2, came into existence

Some time before 28 March 1978 Mr. D. Cameron, M.P. on one or more occasions telephoned Mrs. Rostedt who lived at Beaudesert and had attended the luncheon. He asked her to make a

statement; he told her that Mr. John Trier, Mr. Joyce and Mrs. Blunck, were prepared to make a statement and that they remembered the discussion on re-distribution on 26 July 1977. She arranged

that the four should meet at Mrs. Blunck's house. There they agreed to make a Statutory Declaration saying what they believed to be true. At the

meeting each attempted to recall what had been said, thinking apparently it might help Mr. Cameron who had, in their belief, been unjustly treated.

The relevant portion appears in the second part of the Declaration but I set it out fully -

"THAT (a) Beaudesert, Boonah,

Woodridge and Kingston wquld form part of a new electorate,

71

and THAT (b) the Gold Coast region

would form a seat that

would be called "Gold Coast".

We further state that Mr. John Teulan

was promoting himself and was being promoted by the Hon. E.L. Robinson as the candidate in the new electorate, as outlined by Mr. Robinson, before the commissioners had even announced the new boundaries".

One may remark in passing that seeking to recall the details of an "unremarkable" luncheon some eight months later, when none of the declarants had taken any notes of what was said, was obviously a difficult task. Seeking to do it jointly was an unpromising start. To attempt to do this at a

"round table" discussion which took place between the parties to the Statutory Declaration at Mrs. Blunck's house was to run the risk that some of

the declarants might be influenced or unconsciously persuaded to a recollection of events by others; each would derive support, even comfort from the others, but the refinements of an accurate narration might be seriously jeopardised.

That there was any such promotion as alleged was denied by the Honourable Eric Robinson (Exhibit AAJ) and Mr. Teulan (Exhibit AK), and was not supported by Mr. James or by the evidence of Mrs. Tuffs. However Mrs. Tuffs did explain (as I set out earlier) how Mr. Teulan came to be present.

In the course of their evidence the declarants

72

either withdrew any assertion of the promotion or gave evidence indicating it was based on a misconception. Mrs. Blunck thought the Honourable Eric Robinson had invited Mr. Teulan to the

luncheon, and assumed Mr. Teulan came with the Honourable Eric Robinson. Later she found out that she was incorrect in so thinking. She did not know he held office in the Beaudesert Branch of the

Liberal Party in "McPherson". She gave this answer in cross-examination -Q. Because you now believe, do

you not, that the proposition about Robinson promoting Teulan to which you your oath is utterly unfounded,

do you not?

A. I do know now, after I signed

the statutory declaration. Q. You not only know now but you

have known since when, approximately? A. The beginning of April or May.

The statement of Mr. M.B. Joyce in the Statutory Declaration as to the Honourable Eric Robinson promoting Mr. Teulan was based upon his "honest opinion". He agreed with the proposition

put to him in cross-examination that he had come to realise the opinion was "woefully wrong".

Mrs. Rostedt explained her belief as to the promoting of Mr. Teulan from what she described happened at the luncheon regarding a

73

(Exhibit S). She said in her Statement -

"I also recollect that at a

stage during the luncheon a journalist from 'The Times' (a local newspaper) said that she would take a photograph with Mr. Robinson, Mr. James and myself in it. Mr. James went

down the table to speak to

Mr. Robinson and came back and said to Mrs. Hodgson, 'The Times representative, in my presence words to the effect : 'How

about having John Teulan in the photograph? He is Area Vice-Chairman'".

Mr. James' evidence was to the effect that he and not the Honourable Eric Robinson had suggested Mr. Teulan might be in the photograph. Finally apparently Mr. Teulan was left out because he was not thought to have any local news value.

Mr. Trier made the assumption that the Honourable Eric Robinson had brought Mr. Teulan to the luncheon, and on this assumption joined in the declaration (Exhibit G2) that the Honourable Eric Robinson was promoting Mr. Teulan. He later found out his assumption was incorrect.

There is not in my view any material on which to base an assertion that the Honourable Eric Robinson was promoting Mr. Teulan, with whatever overtones are implicit in such a situation.

74

There has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters

No "primary" fact has been proved o:r remains.

9. (a) That at the Beaudesert luncheon on

26 July 1977 the Honourable Eric Robinson

said that the new elettorate in the east of the old Division of "McPherson" would be named "Gold Coast". (b) That at the Beaudesert luncheon the

Honourable Eric Robinson made other remarks about the pending re-distribution that . indicated knowledge of what was goint to occur.

The significance of these assertions in respect of which .I proceed to examine evidence is that, assuming their truth, the following inferences may be available -

!4571178-4

The Honourable Eric Robinson knew by the 26th July 1977 details of the Distribution Commissioners' proposals _(which were not to be made public until 10 August 1977)

as to names of Divisions and boundaries. He knew of these matters from the Distribution Commissioners. Therefore he had

some association or contact with the Distribution Commissioners other than by the legal processes

75

available in the Act; or, as

it has been expressed in the evidence, he had a "pipeline to the Commissioners".

Before referring again to the events of the luncheon I should say I am satisfied from, e.g. the evidence of the following -

Mrs. B.M. Hodgson Mrs. M.A. Rostedt Mr. F.E. James Mr. J.P. Trier Mr. J.J. Teulan Mr. M.B. Joyce Mrs. P. Tuffs

that it was well accepted that there would be a distribution of the then existing electorate of "McPherson". It was, upon undisputed evidence, the biggest Division in the Commonwealth in terms of electors, comprising as stated earlier some 114,000 persons entitled to vote whereas the quota was

65,877.

The evidence of some witnesses to which detailed reference will be made is that the Honourable Eric Robinson did refer, as might have been expected, to the Distribution. He concedes

this much himself. Some of the witnesses say that his Statement included the explicit assertion that the new electorate in the east of the old Division of "McPherson" would be named "Gold Coast". These were as follows -

76

Mrs. M.A. Rostedt Mrs. J. Blunck Mr. M.B. Joyce Mr. J.P. Trier Mrs. V. Trier

Mrs. J.H. Joyce

I shall consider the evidence of each separately at pages 79-119.

Some also claim he referred to the name of what was to be the new electorate to the west.

These include -

Mrs. Trier - in her Statutory

Declaration, Exhibit G3, and in her Statement, Exhibit AD; and Mrs. Joyce - in her Statutory

Declaration, Exhibit G3, i.e. conjointly with Mrs. Trier, where they used the expression that this electorate" ... would

probably be called McPherson"; and also in her Statement, Exhibit AH.

The subject of re-distribution had been extensively canvassed in newspaper articles. There was therefore nothing remarkable in the fact that it should be mentioned in the Minister's talk

at the luncheon. Equally it seems to have been

commonly accepted that, if there a distribution,

77

the population on the coastal area and in the vicinity of the City of Gold Coast was such that that area would provide the nucleus of one electorate. Examples of the newspaper publicity are -

The Gold Coast Bulletin of 18 February 1977 (Exhibit V).

The Courier Mail of Saturday, 14 May 1977 (Exhibit W).

The Albert News of 1 June 1977 (Exhibit U).

Mrs. Hodgson's evidence establishes that there was actually in existence on 26 July 1978 a comment on the same subject prepared for insertion in the "Logan and Albert Times" but which was not published until 29 July 1977 (Exhibit T).

In this area of my report I propose to

investigate whether one could make a positive finding that the Honourable Eric Robinson had stated explicitly the name of the new electorate. If he had done so, the inference sought to be

drawn against him is that some fortnight before the Distribution Commissioners published their first proposal (i.e. on 10 August 1977 - see Exhibits Bl2 and Bl3) he had some advance knowledge of the distribution proposals which enabled him to predict confidently what the new name would be.

The first difficulty one encounters in

78

approaching the possibility of making any positive finding as to what anyone said is that the

witnesses were attempting to narrate what had been said without the aid of relevant notes taken at the time. That comment requires some qualification in the case of Mrs. Hodgson whose notes however were

destroyed on the same day viz. 26 July 1977, and of

Mr. Joyce - but his notes are on a different subject.

To both these notes I refer later.

The witnesses had not been asked to recall the conversation until some six months had passed; and the whole of the Honourable Eric Robinson's speech which covered other matters took no more than

fifteen to twenty minutes.

It is necessary to consider the evidence of the witnesses separately, dealing first with those whose names are listed hereunder(and then with others whose evidence does not support their version or is

in the main in opposition to it) -

Mrs. M.A. Rostedt Mrs. J. Blunck

Mr. M.B. Joyce Mr. J.P. Trier Mrs. V. Trier

Mrs. J.H. Joyce

Mrs. M.A. Rostedt

This lady was an intelligent person (a part time schoolteacher) interested in local affairs.

At Mrs. Blunck's house she subscribed to the

79

four-party Declaration (Exhibit G2) on 28 March 1978, already quoted (pp. 71/2). I repeat the relevant portions -

"(a) Beaudesert, Boonah, Woodridge and Kingston _ would form part of a new electorate, (b) the Gold Coast region

would form a seat that

would be called Gold Coast".

Her evidence in chief was by way of a Statement (Exhibit Y) in which she wrote -

"In the course of the address Robinson said words to the

following effect -'Beaudesert, Boonah, Woodridge and Kingston would form part of a new

electorate. The Gold Coast would form a seat called Gold Coast' . Mr. Robinson also mentioned the boundary between the two electorates

but I cannot recollect the details of what he said. I asked Mr. Robinson

during the talk -'When will the boundaries be announced?' Mr. Robinson stated when the boundaries would be announced. I cannot now

recollect what he said but I do know

80

that he used the words 'ten'

or 'tenth'".

Having made a Declaration (Exhibit G2) long before she made her Statement (Exhibit Y) on 10 May 1978, there is a danger that what the witness is

repeating in her Statement is not her separate recollection of the talk on 26 July 1978 but a repetition of what she had committed herself to in the DeclaratiQn on 28 March 1978. She typed and

signed Exhibit Y herself. As to her frame of mind generally, before subscribing to the Statutory Declaration, her evidence in cross-examination discloses that -

(i) she had worked for Mr. Cameron

in the election in November 1977; (ii)

(iii)

she became quite friendly with him; she shared with Mrs. Blunck "disappointment" in Mr. Cameron's

dismissal from the office of Deputy Whip; she felt a sense

of "injustice"; (iv) some time after 17 or 18 February

(and before 28 March 1977) she went to Mrs. Blunck's house; this being after Mr. Cameron was "sacked". Of this meeting

her evidence is -

Q. Did you say to her: "I

remember certain things"?

81

A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you say: "This is

what I remember"? A. No, I did not.

Q. That would be a very

natural thing to do, would it not, to tell

her what you remembered? A. Look, what I remembered

is not necessarily ...

Q. . .. Did you say anything

to her about what you

remembered as having been said by Mr. Robinson at the Beaudesert luncheon meeting in July? A. I didn't state definitely

what I did remember. Q. Did you say - did you

state in any way ... ?

A. I may have.

Q. What did you remember?

A. I may have, just casually.

A. I might - I probably said

that I remembered what was discussed.

Q. Well, did you elicit from

Mrs. Blunck on this occasion what she claimed to remember? A. Yes, I did.

82

(v) (about 25 March 1978)

"Mr. Cameron had told me there were three other people who had a clear recollection of what had been said at that meeting

and they were prepared to make a statement ... about

the redistribution".

(vi) Mr. Cameron also told her on or

about 25 Marth 1978 -

(vii)

(viii)

" that Mr. Trier

remembered and Mr. Joyce remembered qefinitely" viz. about what was said by the

Honourable Eric Robinson at the Beaudesert luncheon;

the purpose of meeting at Mrs. Blunck's house (where G2 was subscribed) was -" ... for the purpose of

comparing ... recollections of what had taken place at the Beaudesert luncheon";

she denies receiving assistance in remembering words from comparison of recollections;

(ix) she was told by Mr. Cameron

what Mr. Trier remembered and Mr. Joyce remembered definitely;

83

/

(x) however (she agreed) Mr. Joyce

had told her he had no

independent recollection of what had been said by Mr. Robinson;

(xi) Mr. Cameron told her that first

of all Mr. Joyce said he did

not remember but after he

(xii)

(xiii)

(xiv)

(Mr. Cameron) had been "dropped" (meaning losing his appointment as Deputy Government Whip), he did remember, and was prepared to make a statement;

at Mrs. Blunck's house everyone stated what they recollected;

she already knew that it was predicted lin public discussion the Gold Coast area would be a new seat, separate from other

areas of McPherson, that there would be an extra seat in

Queensland;

before the luncheon she had the view that what now forms the Division of "Fadden" would be the new seat.

It was clear to me when she was giving evidence that she did not alway? listen to what was asked, or

answer the question. There was an incident when she

84

mistakenly produced what became Exhibit Z. In relation to that incident she was asked and answered as set out below -

Q. Would you not agree, however,

Mrs. Rostedt, from that and from other occurrences which have taken place over the last few hours that it might fairly be said of you (I am not

suggesting this cannot be said of other people too) that you are not an attentive listener? A. Yes, I think that is very true.

I am not an attentive listener.

In fact she, in this incident, demonstrated strikingly how she had failed to pay attention to the questions put to her, with a consequent loss of time whilst the misunderstanding was She sought however to distinguish between being at

the luncheon where she was "relaxed" and giving evidence where she was "nervous".

Her evidence also indicated that the discussion between the declarants before a consensus as to Exhibit G2 was reached was about half an hour. However, as noted above, her

statement in Exhibit G2 as to the Honourable Eric Robinson promoting Mr. Teulan was based on an assumption which was not supported in evidence.

Mrs. J. Blunck

Mrs. Blunck was one of the subscribers to the '•

85

Declaration (Exhibit G2) dated 28 March 1978 which as stated earlier was drawn up at her house. Her

evidence in chief is Exhibit AA. In that there

appeared a statement that the Honourable Eric Robinson said -

"There is going to be a

redistribution and there will be a new electorate created. Beaudesert, Boonah, Kingston and Woodridge will be in the new electorate. The electorate along the coast will be called

'Gold Coast'".

One has the same concern for her testimony as that of Mrs. Rostedt viz. that the witness in her

statement may unconsciously be repeating or thinking back to what was enshrined testimony in the Statutory I

Declaration (Exhibit G2) rather than that her evidence is a separate recollection of the events of 26 July 1977. She agreed that she used Exhibit G2 to remind

herself of what she had sworn there before "committing" herself to her Statement (Exhibit AA).

As to her frame of mind before subscribing to the

Statutory Declaration she agreed in cross-examination that she -

(i) felt the "sacking" of

Mr. Cameron "a great shame", and "felt sympathy for him ... it was unfair". She

agreed that she supposed that she and Mrs. Rostedt "expressed to each other" a feeling of

sympathy towards him;

86

(ii) had a relationship of "trust"

"confidence" and "mutual understanding" with Mrs. Rostedt;

(iii) had read Mrs. Rostedt's notes

produced at the meeting which referred to names of towns.

She gave the following evidence of recollection -

Q. I suppose at that time,

approximately eight months after the Beaudesert luncheon meeting, you had a very unclear recollection about the substance

of what had been discussed by Mr. Robinson at that meeting -is that right?

A. I could say I remembered the

topics.

Q. But no more?

A. But I could not elaborate fully

on most of it.

Q. You could remember the topics

but not what was said at that

point in time, mid-March? A. I could not quote.

Q. You could not quote?

A. No.

THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. Could not quote - do you mean

words or topics? A. Words.

87

MR. HUGHES:

Q. You could not quote words,

you knew the topics but not words? A. I knew the topics and I

could remember briefly what the topics were, what was said about the various topics. Q. But not so as to be able to

quote the substance of the words used - do you agree?

A. I could give words to the

effect.

Q. And, of course, words to the

effect can very much alter the sense of words actually used, can they not? A. Yes, I would have to agree.

And later -

Q. Did you ever give anyone to

understand, prior to these conversations with Mr. Cameron, what you would be able to say

about uranium? A. All I can say is that I

remember that uranium had been talked about. Q. And that is all you remembered

about uranium? A. No, that - as I said in my

statutory declaration, it was a good time to buy shares. That

is ...

88

Q. Do you remember telling me

earlier this morning that when, prior to 28 March, you were asked to make a statutory declaration all you

could remember were the topics that were discussed but not what was said about them. Do

you remember saying that? A. Yes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............. .

Q. Was that the truth?

A. Yes.

Q. Yes. And that has remained

the position, has it not? A. Yes.

She said she was aware it would be wrong to compare recollections; she agreed (in this context) she "did in relation to the statutory

declaration which to your [her] way of thinking was very wrong".

I understood her to be agreeing with the benefit of hindsight that it was very wrong to compare recollections before subscribing to the Declaration. She did not think this was wrong at

the time. She maintained that what she signed was something she would have signed without any conversation with the other signatories.

Further references to her evidence are -

(iv) before she gave evidence, i.e.

on 31 March 1978 at a morning

89

party she was told by

Mr. Cameron (referring to the Honourable Eric Robinson's talk at the luncheon) that -

"there had been some leakage, perhaps, and 'he felt the

redistribution". Mr. Cameron also referred to a map being produced;

(v) in reference to her Statement

(Exhibit AA) she could not recollect the exact words the Honourable Eric Robinson used;

(vi) (What the Honourable Eric

Robinson said about distribution included) -"That the coastal strip was very likely going to

be called 'Gold Coast'".

She agreed with the following propositions -

Q. There is a very fine shade

of difference between a statement made by somebody from Mr. Robinson's point of view that the redistribution will result

in a new electorate drawn in upon the Gold Coast, and a statement that there will be a new

electorate called the Gold Coast?

90

Q. . .. There will be a new

electorate centred on the Gold Coast and there will be a new electorate called the Gold Coast, is a very slight

verbal difference?

Thereafter (and referring back to the alternatives referred to in the questions above) she gave these answers -

Q. Is it the case that looking

back now upon what you recollect Mr. Robinson having said at the meeting, you cannot really say whether he made a statement to the effect

of statement number one, or a statement to the effect of statement number two? A. I still believe that he said

that there would be a new

electorate called the Gold Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Q. What I want to test you on is

this. How can you say now,

looking back on it, not merely that he said there would be a

new electorate centred on the Gold Coast but that the name of the electorate would be the Gold Coast? A. Well, I always recollected it

91

would be called the Gold Coast.

Q. Could it riot be the case

that your recollection is affected by the fact that when you first came to gather together your thoughts on the matter the name was being promulgated as something of significance? A. No, I don't feel that. I

always felt the Gold Coast was a very appropriate name for a new electorate.

Mr. M.B. Joyce

Mr. Joyce was a subscriber to the Statutory Declaration (Exhibit G2) of 28 March 1978, relevant portion of which is quoted at pages 71/2.

His evidence in chief came in the form of a

Statement dated 11 May 1978 (Exhibit AF); that Statement attributes to the Honourable Eric Robinson the following remarks -

"This electorate is too big in population. There is an imbalance. There are too many people on the Gold Coast in comparison to the people in the hinterland. Beaudesert, Woodridge, Boonah and Kingston would form part of a new electorate. The Gold Coast region

92

would form another seat that would be called 'Gold Coast'".

He wrote in his notebook an answer made by the

Honourable Eric Robinson to a question he asked relating to uranium. This became Exhibit AG and is not presently relevant. I refer to it later.

His evidence includes -

(i) Mr. Cameron had told him

(referring to the Beaudesert luncheon) there should have been no mention of Electoral re-distribution boundaries at

that time;

(ii) he knew Mr. Cameron was very

concerned in February 1978 about the Honourable Eric Robinson's behaviour in relation to the re-distribution;

(iii) the following questions and answers -

Q. He (i.e. Cameron) said to

you redistribution -redistributed boundaries, or possible boundaries, should not be discussed before the commissioners publish their maps? A. Yes.

93

Q. · In saying that he was

implying very clearly, was he not, to you, that

Mr. Robinson had done something wrong? A. Yes.

Q. In what he said at the

meeting at Beaudesert? A. Yes.

Q. And did you accept at face

value - did you accept

Mr. Cameron's opinion at face value? A. Yes.

Q. It influenced you, did it

not, in your subsequent actions? A. Not necessarily, sir.

Q. No, but it probably did,

didn't it? A. It is possible. I can't

deny that. But I have got

His evidence also shows that before he subscribed to the Statutory Declaration (Exhibit G2) he had discussed what was said at the luncheon with others who attended; that Mr. Cameron mentioned the Honourable Eric Robinson as a man against whom he was making allegations and that he was told that Teulan had been asked by a "senior Minister" to draw

a map of a proposed new electorate to be hived off from the old "McPherson" Division.

94

He gave the following evidence as to his recollection -Q. Except to the extent to which

you have made notes of what was said, or referred to at

the meeting, the details of the words used by Mr. Robinson at the meeting had passed out of your mind, had they not, at

the time you had this first

conversation with Mrs. Rostedt? A. I can't remember whether I

discussed it. I had not

discussed it with anyone I don't think but, largely, I would say, yes, a lot of

details would have passed out of my mind.

His evidence also includes -

Q. Now what else of a derogatory

nature did Mr. - if he said

anything else - did Mr. Cameron tell you about Mr. Robinson before you went to the four-party meeting on 28 March? A. He mentioned something about

Mr. Jull, sir.

Q. What did he say?

A. He said - I can't remember the

exact words, but something about Jull getting the chop.

95

Q. At the instigation of

Mr. Robinson; is that

right?

A. This is what I understood

to be correct. Q. Mr. Cameron seemed at pains,

did he, to convey to you the

impression that Mr. Robinson had sought to engineer the political demise of Mr. Jull; is that right?

A. This is possible, yes.

Q. That is the effect of what

you have just told his Honour, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. So this was a second serious

allegation that Mr. Cameron made to you against Mr. Robinson prior to your going to this

four-party meeting, was it not - the four-party meeting on 28 March? A. Yes.

Q. Did you accept at face value

Mr. Cameron's allegation against Mr. Robinson about Mr. Jull? A. I did not think about it. It

didn't concern me. I wasn't interested.

(iv) a statement that he was not so

96

interested in the re-distribution as to make a note about it;

(v) he passed on to others at the

meeting on 28 March 1978 that Mr. Cameron had told him the Honourable Eric Robinson had no right to speak about

re-distribution before the boundaries were announced;

(vi) - at the meeting of 28 March 1978

Mrs. Rostedt produced notes of a Statutory Declaration which she read aloud;

(vii)

(viii)

he realised that the purpose of engaging in this exercise of comparing recollections was to produce a Statutory Declaration by four people containing grave

allegations against the Honourable Eric Robinson;

when he heard the Honourable Eric Robinson's speech at the luncheon, he agreed that it never occurred to him that there

was anything wrong or particularly memorable in what he (the Honourable Eric Robinson) said; or that there was

anything improper about his (the Honourable Eric Robinson's) making comments on re-distribution;

97

(ix) as to the name to be given

to the electorate on the eastern seaboard he agreed it was -

"a subject matter of no interest ... whatsoever".

His evidence continued -

Q. Now, bearing all those things

in mind, would you agree that it is possible that what Mr. Robinson said when he used the words "Gold Coast" was something about the

location of an electorate rather than the name of an electorate? A. I cannot deny that Mr.

could have said this.

Q. So far as your recollection

goes - and I am only asking you

about your recollection - is it

possible that he might have said nothing about the name as distinct from the place of an electorate at all? A. I can distinctly recall Gold

Coast being named as a seat, as

a region that would be called Gold Coast. . . . . . . . . ............................. .

Q. Now, is it possible, according

98

to your recollection, that Mr. Robinson on this occasion made no statement about the name of an electorate, but

only a statement about the place of an electorate? A. I cannot deny that it is

possible, but I do not recall

it being said as a location -

but I cannot deny that it could

been said in this respect.

Q. Then what is the best of your

recollection now? A. The best of my recollection is

that my interpretation at that luncheon was that Mr. Robinson said the Gold Coast region would form a seat to be called

Gold Coast.

Mr. J.P. Trier

He was the fourth subscriber to the Statutory

Declaration (Exhibit GZ).

His evidence in chief, in the form of a

Statement (Exhibit AC), includes this phrase attributed to the Honourable Eric Robinson -, "There is a big imbalance of

population at the northern end of the electorate of McPherson as well as the Gold Coast. There will be a

split and the Gold Coast will be cut

off into a separate to be

99

called the 'Gold Coast'. There will be a line around Tamborine. The remainder of the electorate, which would include Boonah,

Beaudesert, Kingston and Woodridge would be a separate electorate and could retain the name of McPherson".

The following are quotations from his evidence -

Q. Well, you did not retain a

vivid recollection of the substance of what he said, did you? A. I retained an impression -

an impression of what he said. Q. An impression?

A. Yes.

Q. But not a precise impression?

A. Not of the words.

Q. Not of the words?

A. No.

Q. You have never had a precise

impression of the substance of the words he used, have

you?

A. Not of the words. I have of

the substance, not of the words. Q. But not of the substance of

everything he said? A. No.

Q. Indeed, you probably would not

100

be able to mention all the

topics that he touched on, would you? A. No.

Q. Let alone the words that he

used, or even the substance of the words that he used

when he referred to those topics? A. Not all of them, no.

Of the meeting of 28 March 1978 at Mrs. Blunck's home at Beaudesert, to declare Exhibit G2, his evidence is -

Q. Mr. Trier, you did not go to

the meeting with a draft statutory declaration of your own, did you? A. No.

Q. You did not go along to the

meeting with any notes of your own, did you? A. No.

Q. Did anyone go to the meeting

A. Q.

A. Q. A.

- I'm sorry, did anyone at the

meeting produce any notes of his or her own?

Not as far as I know.

Notes that were - notes written on a piece of paper?

No. That were passed around? No.

101

Q. I am not suggesting to you

that your answer is wrong. Please do not think that. I would just like you to

think about that carefully again because it may be important, you see. I am

not suggesting you are wrong, but you are certain, are you,

that nobody at that meeting, Mrs. anyone else,

produced any notes on a piece of paper? A. Yes. I don't think anybody

produced any notes. Q. And I am talking specifically

about the meeting at Mrs. Blunck's home on 28 March, you understand? A. Yes.

(N.B. It is worth contrasting these last questions and answers with what is noted from Mr. Joyce's evidence at page 97).

And later he continued -

Q. Would it be fair to say that,

if you had known that the purpose of the meeting was to produce a statutory declaration to support the campaign for a judicial inquiry into grave allegations against Mr. Robinson,

102

you would have had a · very substantial doubt about the propriety of four people meeting together to put

together conjointly a statutory declaration rather than making independent statutory declarations? A. Yes.

Q. Would it be fair to you to

say that, if you had known what you now know to have been the purpose of getting this statutory declaration,

you wouldn't have had a bar of that meeting? A. Yes.

Q. And the reason why you give

that very frank answer is this, isn't it, that it is

elementary that, if evidence is going to be collected in

support of pressing a grave charge against a person from a number of witnesses, that evidence ought, in common

justice, to be the product of the independent recollection of each witness? A. Yes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........... .

Q. Will you agree that there is a

very fine verbal distinction between saying, on the one hand,

103

"a seat to be called the Gold

Seat", and, on the other hand, to refer to a seat to be based

on the Gold Coast? A. Yes.

Q. So fine is the verbal distinction,

will you agree, that anyone who heard words to the effect that a new seat would be based on the

Gold Coast or the coast would be very easily pardoned for recalling some months later that the words used conveyed the effect that the seat was to be

called the Gold Coast? A. Yes.

Q. Bearing all that in mind, and

in particular that you have rno special reason for remembering that he said that the name of the

electorate would be the Gold Coast, will you accept that he might equally well not have said that the name of the electorate would be the Gold Coas.t? A. No, Mr. Gleeson. I think he

said that.

Mr. Trier was troubled about the method of compiling the Statutory Declaration. His evidence is -

Q. Well, your feeling of concern -

you did have a feeling of concern afterwards, did you not?

104

A. Yes, obviously.

Q. And that feeling of concern

was based on the fact that

without knowing the full purpose for which this declaration was obtained, you became, as it were, unwittingly

involved in an exercise involving the conjoint comparison of recollections? A. Not only that, but that would

have been part of it.

Mr. Trier denied that any note or writing was handed around on 28 March 1978 - which was some two months before he gave evidence. But the evidence of the other three subscribers and to some of which I

have referred satisfies me that e.g. Mrs. Rostedt's notes were read by one or more of them and read to

them all. He and his wife (to be referred to

hereafter) with Mrs. Joyce say they heard mention of the name "McPherson" as the name of the western Division of the old "McPherson"; she and Mrs. Trier claimed to have heard the Honourable Eric Robinson

say (of the western electorate), that it would

" probably be called McPherson".

Mrs. V. Trier

She and Mrs. Joyce had subscribed to a Statutory Declaration, Exhibit G3, dated 9 April 1978 which said inter alia that the Honourable Eric Robinson said -

"A. That there would be a change

lOS

in Electoral boundaries affecting our electorate, before the coming elections. B. That the Gold Coast region

would form one Electorate, to be known as Gold Coast. C. That Boonah, Beaudesert, Woodridge and Kingston areas

would be in a new Electorate which would probably be called McPherson".

The Circumstances in which Statutory Declaration dated 9 April, 1978, Exhibit G3, came into existence:

Apparently Mr. Cameron telephoned Mr. Joyce who contacted Mr. & Mrs. Trier; and Mrs. Rostedt also spoke to Mr. Trier before the signing of Exhibit G2.

Then Mr. & Mrs. Joyce and Mr. & Mrs. Trier met on 9 April 1978 at Gleneagle, at a grazing property owned by Mr. Harrison (who was also a Justice of the Peace and later witnessed the declarants' signatures). He and his wife were present on this occasion at discussions. The meeting lasted some

two hours "before the production of this typed document, Exhibit G3". The discussions about the Declaration may not have continued for the whole two hours.

I return to a consideration of Mrs. Trier's testimony in this inquiry. Her evidence in chief in the form of a Statement, dated 4 May 1978, is

Exhibit AD. It included the following -

106

"In the course of the luncheon Mr. Robinson gave a talk to those

present. During the talk he said

to the following effect -'There would be an electorate called Gold Coast. There would be a new electorate

including Kingston, Boonah, Beaudesert, Woodridge probably called McPherson'".

Her evidence includes -

before she signed the Statutory Declaration, Exhibit G3, and the Exhibit AD, she

had seen the four-party Statutory Declaration, Exhibit G2, of Mesdames Blunck and Rostedt and Mr. Joyce and Mr. Trier - it was probably in

the room at Gleneagle, on 9 April ·1978;

before she signed the Statutory Declaration, Exhibit G3, there had been a considerable amount of discussion about what had

happened at the luncheon between herself and Mrs. Joyce, and between herself and both Mr. Joyce and Mr. Trier, at the meeting held

at Gleneagle;

Of these conversations her evidence is -

107

24571178- 5

Q. So that is what the four of

you did, isn't it? you

chatted amongst each other about what had happened at the luncheon during this period of approximately two hours; is

that right? A. Yes.

Later she said -

Q. The obvious purpose for which

that declaration was in the room at the time the six of

you met was that it could be

used as a basis for the

preparation of your own statutory declaration? A. Yes.

Q. And your husband's declaration was in fact used for that

purpose, was it not? A. Yes.

Later she gave evidence also in relation to the meeting at Gleneagle -

Q. You did in fact need help, did

you not, to refresh your recollection - do not think I am putting that critically -that is the fact, you needed

help to refresh your recollection? A. Not by this time.

108

Q. At this meeting, your

recollection having grown dim, as you have said, you

needed help to refresh your recollection, did you not? A. Yes.

Q. Who gave you that help, if

I may ask?

A. Mrs. Joyce.

On the same subject this evidence was given -

Q. . .. may we take it that you

were glad to have Mr. Joyce and Mrs. Joyce and your husband present during this two-hour meeting, because you

knew you could get help from them in that task?

A. Yes.

Q. And you got that help, did you

not?

A. Yes.

Q. You say you got it from

Mrs. Joyce, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. You also got it from your

husband on this occasion, did you not, on the occasion of

the meeting at Gleneagle? A. Yes.

She agreed that a copy of the Statutory Declaration, subscribed to by her husband, Mr. Trier, and three others (Exhibit G2) was in the room at

109

Gleneagle. Her evidence is -

Q. And the obvious purpose for

which that declaration, his declaration G2, was in the room was so that by reading it you could get assistance in refreshing your recollection of what had happened at the meeting. That is right, is it not?

A. Yes.

She said, about a draft of her Statutory Declaration -

Q. Did you show your draft

around the room to the various people present? A. Yes.

Q. For the purpose of seeking

their comments? A. Yes.

Q. And did you get their comments?

A. Yes.

Q. And indeed, having got their

comments - that is, comments from people who had been present at the luncheon - did you alter

your draft? A. Yes.

[She said later that these alterations (apart from ones about Mr. Teulan) were "minor grammatical things"

110

Q. The comments they made related

their recollection of what had happened at the luncheon meeting, did they not? is that

right?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. So that if they made comments

relating to their recollection of what had happened at the luncheon meeting and you altered

your draft having heard their comments, it follows, does it not, that you altered your draft so as to reflect their comments? A. Yes.

Q. And if you had not had the

assistance of these comments upon the basis of which you altered your draft, the

preparation of your statutory declaration would have been virtually an impossible task, would it not? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...................... .

A. No.

Q. It would have been a much more

difficult task, would it not? A. Yes.

On her ability to recall she gave this evidence -

Q. Do you agree that you have at

times, since you turned your mind with other people's assistance to the task of

111

recalling what Mr. Robinson said about electoral boundaries and electorates at this luncheon in July, found it virtually impossible to recall the words he used?

A. Yes.

Q. The best you can

cbnscientiously do is to give, with the assistance that others have rendered you, some approximation of what you understood to be the sense of the words he used; is that

right?

A. Yes.

Q. And, of course, that is quite

a difficult task to undertake, isn't it, bearing in mind the lapse of time that occurred? A. Yes.

Q. Between the speech at the

luncheon and the time at which you first addressed yourself to the task of recollection; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And even if you performed

that task or endeavoured to perform that task with help, there is risk, isn't there,

that your mental approximation of the sense of the words used

may not in fact convey the

112

sense of the words that were exactly used by Mr. Robinson on the occasion? A. Yes.

Later she said -

Q. Would you agree that, in the

light of the fact that that

area called the Gold Coast area is well known and well established in people's minds, there is a very fine verbal

distinction between saying, on the one hand, or referring, on the one hand, to an electorate based on the Gold Coast and

in referring, upon the other hand, to an electorate called Gold Coast? A. Yes.

Q. Yes. And with the best will

in the world, attempting the task of recollection so long after the event, it would be very easy, would it not, to

confuse, as it were, in your

mind the distinction, the fine distinction, between those two verbal concepts, "based on the Gold Coast" and "named" or

"called Gold Coast"? A. Yes.

She was questioned further about this by Counsel

113

assisting the Commission -Q. Now I want to take your mind

back to the Beaudesert luncheon and remind you of the very thing that Mr. Hughes reminded you of, and that is

the very slight difference between saying the electorate would be at the Gold Coast and

saying there would be an electorate named the "Gold Coast". You are aware of that

slight difference, are you not? A. Yes.

Q. Bearing in mind that slight

difference and the difficulties attending recollecting something that was said 10 months ago, will you now agree

that, according to your recollection, it is just as likely that Mr. Robinson only said that the electorate would be located on the Gold Coast, and not that there would be an

electorate actually named the "Gold Coast"? A. He said the electorate would be

Gold Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... ........... .

Q. When you said in answer to my

question, "He said the electorate would be Gold Coast" ... ?

114

A. Yes.

Q. That might be a statement

about the name of an

electorate, but it might also merely be a statement about the location of an electorate, mightn't it? A. It could be.

MR. GLEESON:

Q. According to your

recollection, what was the statement that he made? A. That it would be called Gold

Coast.

(She said further she did not think the saying that the name of the electorate would be Gold Coast was important at the time it was said).

Mrs. J.H. Joyce

She is the wife of Mr. Joyce an earlier

witness. With Mrs. Trier she subscribed to the Statutory Declaration Exhibit G3, dated 9 April 1978. She typed that Declaration. Already when referring to Mrs. Trier's evidence I have discussed

the circumstances in which Exhibit G3 was produced. She gave evidence in answer to a question as to who drafted it -A. Mostly Mr. Harrison. He advised

us on the wording. We gave him

the - what we wanted to put, and

he told us or helped us draft it.

Is that what you wanted? Q. Well, when you say you ... ?

115

A. "We" being Mrs. Trier and

myself.

Q. You gave Mr. Harrison what

you wanted to put. Did you

give him something in writing? A. No, we did a rough copy with

him. I think one of us wrote

it, actually, and he just

advised us. Q. That is what I mean. You did

a rough copy? A. Yes.

She could not remember in whose writing was the rough copy - "possibly Mrs. Trier". (This I note

to underline the difficulties of recollection that witnesses can have. Exhibit G3 was subscribed but seven weeks before she gave evidence; yet she was not able to be positive as to who wrote the rough

copy). The discussion about it took "perhaps three quarters of an hour". Her evidence implies that a rough draft was written out at the meeting

" as we were discussing it".

The typing had to be done about three times. She

spoke of the draft -

Q. You told His Honour it was

about half an hour's discussion which led up to the formulation of the rough copy. Is that

right?

A. Yes.

116

Q. That was a discussion in

which you and Mrs. Trier and your respective husbands took part was it not?

A. Yes.

About the drafting of the Declaration she said -

"We knew what our husbands had

written and .we knew the wording wasn't quite good enough, and we wanted to just set our wording

out in what we thought was a better

form of phrasing".

And "possibly" she had discussed with Mrs. Trier what was said at the luncheon before 9 April 1978. As to whether it was difficult to

apply her recollection to the task of formulating the sense of words that were used so far back she

answered -

"Yes, but I do remember things that interested me"

whereupon this question followed -

Q. You were not very interested

in redistribution, were you? A. No, not really.

She said that she and Mrs. Trier each read at

Gleneagle the four-party Statutory Declaration (Exhibit G2) and agreed that she thought it fit to

use as a basis for formulating her own· Declaration

117

(Exhibit G3) .

Her evidence in chief was given in a Statement which is Exhibit AH. It includes this passage as to

what the Honourable Eric Robinson said -

"Because McPherson is such a big electorate and with expansion of the northern area of Beaudesert and Albert it is necessary to create a new electorate. The Gold Coast area would be one electorate known as 'Gold Coast'. The Boonah, Beaudesert, Kingston and Woodridge areas would be in a new electorate which would probably stay as McPherson".

She agreed that there was a "fine verbal distinction" between saying on the one hand that there would be an electorate based on the Gold Coast and on the other hand, one called Gold Coast, but claimed to remember what was said.

She also agreed she had discussed what was said with others, i.e. before she subscribed to the Declaration.

She had been told something of Mr. Cameron's views before she went to Gleneagle -

Q. What do you recall your husband

telling you before you went to Gleneagle about Mr. Cameron's allegations against Mr. Robinson?

118

A. That there had been something

wrong as far as the

redistribution was concerned, and he felt that he ought to

try to find out what was wrong,

that maybe Mr. Robinson might have influenced the commissioners perhaps in his dealings with them (if he had

any such dealings) and to alter the boundaries - I am not so

interested iri electoral boundaries that it really interested me tremendously. Q. That was your of mind at

this luncheon on 26 July, was it not?

A. As far as actual boundaries

were concerned, yes. Q. As far as anything concerned

with redistribution or electorates was concerned? A. No, it was the first time I

had heard of any redistribution and I was just interested to

think that may be that one was to be split up and we would

still be in McPherson. Q. Still be in a country based

electorate - that is what you

said you were interested in? A. Possibly, yes.

119

The foregoing witnesses claim to have heard the Honourable Eric Robinson, on 26 July 1977, say words to the effect that an electorate would be called "Gold Coast". I have to bear in mind that -

1. None made notes at the time (except

Mr. Joyce on a different subject). (But see Mrs. Hodgson's evidence later) .

2. No one had any particular reason to

continue to remember what was said.

3. There are differences in the various

versions of their evidence.

4. There seems to have been, amongst

them, generally speaking, a comparison of recollections before any given by Statement or otherwise.

5. Some felt such sympathy for Mr. Cameron

as to engender, albeit unconsciously, an attitude of bias making it possible that testimony against the Honourable Eric Robinson would be coloured.

6. The Statutory Declarations (Exhibits G2 and G3) were compiled in

circumstances which would permit the declarants to be prompted by and derive support, firmness and authority from the attitude of their friends or acquaintances, rather than objectively to reflect their own experience.

120

7. Mrs. Rostedt, who occupied a role

as convenor was, she agreed, not an attentive listener; a quality which she demonstrated strikingly in her own viva voce evidence,

particularly in relation to the production of Exhibit Z. 8. The Statutory Declaration, Exhibit G3, was settled with the aid of

G2 and discussion.

9. Information had been given to some

of these persons suggesting the Honourable Eric Robinson had been engaged in some wrongdoing in the matter of redistribution. Once

again, this could have created in their minds bias against him, albeit unconsciously.

There were other witnesses who were present at the luncheon and whose testimony I consider now. They are -

Mrs. B.M. Hodgson Mr. F.E. James Mrs. D.J. James Mrs. P. Tuffs

Mr. J.J. Teulan The Honourable Eric Robinson, M.P.

Mrs. B.M. Hodgson

Mrs. Hodgson did not make a written Statement nor was she a signatory to any Her

121

evidence included the following -

Q. And I am not going to ask you

everything that he spoke about on that occasion, but do you remember him saying anything about the subject matter of the forthcoming redistribution? A. Mr. Robinson did speak on

redistribution, yes. Q. I want you to do your best to

tell his Honour, Mrs. Hodgson, attributing to Mr. Robinson direct speech where you can, what you recall him saying about

that subject matter? A. Your Honour, some - the majority

of the words - it is nine months

later - I cannot remember. THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. The majority of the words you

cannot remember? A. No, not exact words.

Mr. Robinson did commence by saying that the electorate was the largest in the Commonwealth. He then remarked on the bulk ...

A. As best I can remember, as close

as I can of it, Mr. Robinson

commenced by saying that the electorate of McPherson was the largest in the Commonwealth. He further went on then, and to

122

the best of my knowledge remarked on the population in the Gold Coast area and

also in the northern end of

the shire, which was Woodridge and Kingston. Q. What did he say when he

remarked about that? A. Just that that is where the

basic bulk population was. MR. GLEESON:

A. . .. I believe that is what

he said - the area would be

cut - and then he further

went on and he said the words

"Tamborine, Darlington Range, Boonah, Beaudesert, Woodridge and Kingston" - would be retained in the McPherson

electorate ...

Q. What else did he say?

A. And that "Gold Coast" would

become a new electorate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... .

A. . .. I understood Mr. Robinson

to say words to the effect

that one area would stay with "McPherson" and that "Gold Coast" would become a new electorate.

At the luncheon she made notes on a coaster (later that same day destroyed). She said-

123

"I took the coaster and I wrote

the words 'Tamborine Mountains' - that's why I am sure of them

- 'Darlington Range, Boonah, Beaudesert, Kingston, Woodridge', adding - 'Gold Coast'. They

were at the top of the coaster,

and then I stopped writing".

She was first asked on 1 April 1978 for her

recollection of the luncheon conversation. She agreed it was difficult, even impossible to recapture some of the exact words used. She was not assisted by discussions with Mrs. Rostedt. To

Counsel assisting the Commission she gave an account (of which I shall say more later) concerning what she claimed was said about uranium by the Honourable Eric Robinson. In cross-examination she

attributed another sentence to the Honourable Eric Robinson in a passage set out below. This was given in the context of explaining why the "Logan and Albert Times" did not publish what she heard of the Honourable Eric Robinson's speech. The evidence was -

A. One, we are a conservative

press.

A. Two, when Mr. Robinson spoke he looked around the room, and his eyes rested on me, and he said, "Anything that is said in this room is not

to go out".

124

Q. Mrs. Hodgson, you never

mentioned that when ... ?

A. I was never asked.

Q. Never asked. And when do

you claim that Mr. Robinson used those words - at what

part of the meeting? A. After he used the words, to

the best of my knowledge, he said that - he said, as _

close as I can get to the

actual words - he looked around the room, and he said, "We will have to find someone". I am not sure of the adjective

he used here - "to take, or

to look or to take over

this area and your interests", and then as he was continuing to look round, his eyes

rested on me and he said,

"What I am saying in this room

is not to go out of this room".

Q. Have you ever told anyone

before just a few moments ago that Mr. Robinson used those words? A. No.

Q. No one at all?

A. Not to my knowledge, no.

No other witness gave evidence of hearing the

admonition that what was said was not to go out of the room - or any words or phrase like it.

125

A particular consideration bearing on the acceptability of evidence from those whose testimony broadly speaking is adverse to the Honourable Eric Robinson is the degree of difference which emerges from the various witnesses. The statement which Mrs. Hodgson attributed to the Honourable Eric

Robinson was an ominous statement, quite memorable, yet evidence about it did not emerge until cross-examination, and was not given by any other of the eleven people at the luncheon.

Mrs. Hodgson's evidence of the production by Mrs. Rostedt of the Statutory Declarations (Exhibit G4 and Exhibit GS) to which I refer later at PP• 247

was that she was not continuously in her room -

Q. Did you come back into the

office while Mrs. Rostedt was doing some typing? A. I walked to the door once.

Q. Were Mrs. Rostedt and

Mrs. Blunck both together? A. Yes.

Q. Talking to each other?

A. I did not hear them, Mr. Hughes.

I did not hear them talking.

Q. Whether you heard or not,

did they appear to be engaged in conversation? A. Not at the moment that I came

to that door.

Q. Did you enter the office on

this occasion when you saw them together?

126

A. No, I went to the end of

the office to pick something up off a desk, off a shelf

that was th-ere. Q. In your office?

A. In my office, yes.

Q. And you picked something up'

did you?

A. Yes.

Q. And then what did you do?

A. Walked out again.

Later she said she did not hear Mrs. Blunck or

Mrs. Rostedt say anything to each other -

" because I was only in there

for a matter of moments".

Mrs. Rostedt's evidence was quite different.

Q. When you were giving evidence this morning about Mrs. Hodgson being "in the office", what did you mean by "the office"? A. In her office.

Q. Her private office or personal

office?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. It has within it what?

A. It is her office - her table

and her typewriter. It is very

cramped conditions, really, and just behind the door there is another office table at which

127

someone else sits. The partition alongside

her room. It does not go

up to the ceiling, and

there is a doorway. Then

there - there is really two

doors into the building. Q. How long did you spend in

Mrs. Hodgson's office on that day? A. I suppose 20 to 4 I went into

the office and I left, I

suppose, about 20 past 4 to

go down and get a JP to sign

the statement. Q. Thank you. And was Mrs. Blunck

with you during the whole of that time? A. Yes.

Q. And was Mrs. Hodgson with you

during the whole of the time? A. Yes. I think she may have

been called out once, but I

think she was there most of the

time. I'm not - I'm - I'm not

sure whether she was called out once or not, but I think

probably she was there the whole time. It is difficult

to remember.

Mrs. Blunck's evidence was also different -

Q. Mrs. Hodgson was in the office

while- the typing of each

128

declaration was being done, wasn't she? A. Yes.

There are other examples of such inconsistency increasing the difficulty one has in selecting and being satisfied of one version or another.

Mr. F.E. James

His evidence in chief is in the form of a

Statement, Exhibit AB, in these proceedings.

In July 1977 Mr. James was Chairman of the

Beaudesert Branch of the Liberal Party and had invited those who came to the luncheon, performed any necessary introductions and near its conclusion introduced the Honourable Eric Robinson. As to his

selection of those present he said -"In late July 1977 Mr. Eric

Robinson contacted me to ask me to arrange a 'meet the people'

luncheon in Beaudesert on 26 July 1977. I agreed to do

so. I contacted a number of

people whom I selected on the basis of getting a broad cross-section of the community in Beaudesert to the luncheon".

In Exhibit AB he wrote -

"In the course of the luncheon Mr. Robinson gave a talk. He

129

covered a number of topics such as the economy, and the building industry. I recollect that he

also mentioned redistribution. I do not recall exactly what he

said but the substance of it was that -There would be redistribution and that changes would

probably occur to the boundaries of McPherson. Because of the size of

McPherson there will have to be some division of the electorate. It was likely that Beaudesert would not remain part of his electorate".

He gave an account of how Mr. Teulan came to be

present -

Q. . .. You know how Mr. Teulan

came to be invited to the

lunch? .

A. Yes Sir, I invited him.

Q. You invited him?

A. Yes.

Q. Without any prior request from

Mr. Robinson? A. No Sir.

Q. You invited him of your own

volition?

A. Yes, of my own, yes.

130

As to names of any newly created electorate he said -

Q. At the Beaudesert luncheon

was anything said on the subject matter of the name or names of any newly created electorate? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ .

A. We talked generally of the

Gold Coast as a geographical region rather than as a specific name. I do not

recall whether anyone said . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ .

A. . .. The geographical area of

the Gold Coast was mentioned. Whether that was to be used

specifically as the name of that electorate - I do not

recall any specific mention of that.

Q. Would you deny that the name

Gold Coast was referred to as the name of a possible electorate? A. Yes, I would.

Further, on distribution he said (referring to the Honourable Eric Robinson) -

A. I remember that he said that

in view of the large number

of electors his electorate would have to be altered. He

131

And later -

said words to the effect

that it was very likely we would not remain within his electorate, we being the district of Beaudesert and Kingston. I don't recall any

specific boundaries being mentioned by him except in the general context that we would no longer probably be part of his electorate.

Q. Do you remember in relation to

redistribution whether he said anything positively as to what would be the name or whether he, rather, expressed an opinion or ventured a theory

about what would be the name of the new electorate? A. I believed he was expressing

an opinion.

As to Mr. Teulan, he said -

Q. You recall questions about the

photograph which was taken? A. Yes, your Honour.

Q. Let me ask you quite directly

did Mr. Robinson, by any words or signs or anything else that you heard, suggest or indicate

132

that Mr. Teulan should be part of the photograph? A. No.

Mrs. D.J. James

Mrs. James is the wife of Mr. F.E. James. Her

evidence in chief was given in a Statement which is Exhibit AJ. She said this -

"As regards redistribution my best recollection of what Mr. Robinson said is that -'It is inevitable there

would be a redistribution of McPherson because of the increase in population at the Gold Coast and in

the northern part of the Beaudesert Shire'. At the conclusion of this talk I asked Mr. Robinson whether

Beaudesert would remain in McPherson. He said words to the

effect -'It would be unlikely that it would remain in the old

electorate of McPherson'".

That she asked a question about distribution suggests she was more interested than others; and the question seemed to have arisen out of what she had heard said. I accept that she did ask the

question. Her evidence of the speaker's statement which preceded or led up to the question and the

133

answer thus becomes more credible. That she was paying attention to the speaker's statement in this area of his address is established; yet her

evidence does not include that the Honourable Eric Robinson mentioned or predicted what might be new names for Electoral Divisions.

Mrs. P. Tuffs

This witness is a field officer of the Liberal Party in the McPherson Division, associated with the Liberal Party in the Division of McPherson at least since 1968 and has known the Honourable Eric Robinson at least since 1972. Earlier I have referred to her

activity in arranging the luncheon. Her evidence in chief was given in the form of a Statement which is

Exhibit AL. Her account there of the talk by the

Honourable Eric Robinson is -

"He spoke, as I recall, about

generalities, the government's concern, measures concerning the economy, the importance of the beef industry and in particular the meatworks to Beaudesert. I do not recall any

specific mention or discussion about electoral redistribution. If it did occur then it would

have been no more than conjecture as to what we all felt to be

obvious, namely that McPherson was bound to be considered as a

seat from which two seats might

134

arise, and that a logical

redistribution would be to excise the Gold Coast area. That topic

was freely canvassed and plainly discussed within the branches over a period of years. I do not recall any positive

assertions on Mr. Robinson's part. I would most certainly have

pricked up my ears had he made any".

Her evidence, assisted by her particular involvement in political affairs shows that distribution and the separation of the Gold Coast area from westerly rural areas had been discussed over a period of years.

During the talk she remembered thinking that what was being said had been very much the subject of coverage in the media. As to redistribution, she said -

"I had heard so much talk about redistribution that generally Mr. Robinson just repeated things that I had been listening to for

many months".

Upon the subject of names of Divisions she gave the following evidence -

Q. Did he say anything about new

electorates having particular names or anything of this sort? A. No.

Q. Nothing about new divisions?

135

A. No, not that I recall, your

Honour.

Q. He did not mention, for

instance, the division to be known as Gold Coast? A. No.

Q. You would have remembered that if he had, would you? A. Yes. I would have really

listened hard if he had been talking about new names and divisions. Q. Why?

A. Because there never had been

any talk of re-naming divisions in conversations I had heard before. Q. I see. So that if that had

been mentioned by as senior a person as the Minister, you would have taken note? A. Yes, I would really, yes.

Q. Taken it in, as it were?

A. Yes.

Q. Does it follow that you do not

recall the names of any subdivisions or areas such as, if you like, Beenleigh or Boonah being mentioned at the

luncheon by Mr. Robinson? A. I would expect them to be

mentioned, your Honour. Q. But you cannot say whether they

were or they were not?

A. No.

Mr. J.J. Teulan

Elsewhere I have referred to. how this witness carne to be at the luncheon. He was known to

Mr. James and to the Honourable Eric Robinson. He had hopes of a political career and he had worked for the Honourable Eric Robinson in the 1975 election campaign. He had told the Honourable Eric

Robinson that he expected a new seat would be formed in the Beenleigh/Springwood/Kingston area and advised the Honourable Eric Robinson and the General Secretary of the Liberal Party that he would likely be a

candidate for it. Since 1976 he has been an executive member of the McPherson area of the Liberal Party, and was elected to be its Vice Chairman. He was

later an aspirant for preselection for the new division Fadden, defeated in that contest by Mr. Cameron, M.P. He had submitted a "suggestion" dated 17 May 1977, (Dr. Hughes to evidence I

have already referred (page 60) called it a "proposal") for distribution to the Liberal Party, and a copy of this he gave to the Honourable Eric Robinson. It is

Exhibit H. By reason of his ambitions, his study of the possibilities of distribution and his interest in local affairs and politics generally which prompted him to seek, to be permitted to

attend the luncheon, I would expect that his recollection of what was said there would be more informed than that of some of the others, but, even so, imperfect.

His evidence in chief was in the form of a

Statement which is Exhibit AK in these proceedings. These passages appear in it -

137

"I first came to Queensland in 1970 in my capacity as a director of that group of companies to assess the potential of property development in Queensland from Brisbane to the Gold Coast area.

In the course of this investigation I carried out a survey on behalf

of the company, which included detailed demographic analysis and primary market survey work. The result of my survey was that I

concluded that there was an excellent potential in the field of property development and investment in the south east sector of Queensland, but in particular in the Woodridge/Kingston/ Springwood/Loganholme/Beenleigh areas. As a direct result of my survey the

companies commenced investment in the area and purchased certain property, initially in the Beenleigh district.

After I moved into the area in 1973,

I became involved in local affairs on an active basis. From 1974-1976 I was vice-president of the Logan and District Council of Progesss Associations, which comprises nine

affiliated associations which cover the area extending from Greenbank/Park Ridge to Beenleigh, and through to

138

Eight Mile Plains. I was

elected president of the association in 1976 and still hold that office. At the time

that I joined the Progress Association it was actively involved in a campaign to bring about a just system of electoral

representation. This policy was extended subsequently to state and federal levels. In

my capacity as vice-president and

subsequently president of the association, I became involved in the drawing of submissions on behalf of the organization

involving proposals for electoral redistribution affecting the area".

In 1977 he prepared a _Submission which the Council of Progress Associations adopted and put forward to the Distribution Commissioners for the State of Queensland relating to a (State) seat in

the Woodridge area. The Division later adopted, so he stated, closely corresponded to that Submission. He had particular views about Electoral

Representation upon which subject in or after May 1977 he drafted a policy statement which was adopted by the Queensland Liberal Party State Executive.

He denied unequivocally that he ever prepared

a Map, or that he was requested by a Minister to

draw up a Map or that he had handed a Map to a

Minister. Already I have referred to and accepted

139

24571178-6

this evidence (page 55).

His Statement, Exhibit AK, refers to the Honourable Eric Robinson's talk thus -

"I recall that, when Mr. Robinson commenced his speech, he introduced his remarks by saying that this may well be the last

occasion that he would be speaking to them in the capacity of their

Federal Member: as everyone well knew a redistribution was taking place in Queensland, and he observed that they may well find themselves with a different Federal Member representing them. As I recall that was the only

reference to redistribution made by Mr. Robinson during the main body of the address. He then

discussed matters which were primarily based upon the Government's record of achievement since it had been in office, and

he also spoke on the philosophy of the Federal Liberal Party. He had indicated at the opening of his address that it was to be of

an informal nature, and that he would remain seated, saying too, that anyone who wished to ask any questions or interject on any point during the address was welcome to do so. There were a couple of

140

questions that were asked of Mr. Robinson during the address, but as I recall they related

only to matters concerning the substance of the address - i.e.

the economy. After the address was finished several questions were asked of Mr. Robinson. One of the

questions that was asked (I cannot recall who asked the question) was 'When are the maps likely to appear as a result of the Commissioners'

findings?' to which Mr. Robinson answered that they were expected to be released 'at any time now'.

In a letter that I wrote to the

Attorney-General on the 13th April -last, I outlined my recollections of what the Minister . said in the remarks that he made about

redistributions; I set these out again as they are my full

recollections of the observations that the Minister made : (a) That the McPherson area

was the largest in Australia in terms of people enrolled; (b) That from the Australian

Bureau of Statistics figures it was clear that a 19th

Federal electorate would be created in Queensland, compared with reductions in New South Wales; this was

due to population movements;

141

(c) That it was possible by

simple mathematics to work out what the mean population quota for an electorate would be; (d) That since the Gold Coast

area had something approximating the number of electors expected to be required, and since it was tucked away in the south-east corner of the State, one could guess that it would probably constitute an electorate on its own, and accordingly Beaudesert, in his view, would be probably

in a new electorate with a different Federal Member; (e) The Minister then reviewed

various alternatives that could be inferred as being available to the Commissioners in drawing electorate boundaries, and in response

to further questions said that either :

(i) Beaudesert and its

surrounding rural areas could be linked with other rural areas to the west, extending to Darling Downs; or

142

(ii) Beaudesert could be linked with urban areas south of Brisbane. If

this were done, the electorates of Oxley, Bowman and Moreton were the ones in his view

where additional members could be looked for, and of course the excised northern area of old McPherson, if in fact

there was a seat created based on the Gold Coast; (iii) He did say the only

definite boundary for any new seat involving Beaudesert would be the ranges forming the New

South Wales border, because electorates do not traverse state boundaries".

He offers this evidence as a denial of matters

put forward by others -

"I am aware of the contents of

a statutory declaration made by Messrs. Rostedt, Trier, Joyce and Blunck concerning the meeting in question. I am aware that the

deponents state that the Han. E.L. Robinson said at the meeting that Beaudesert/Boonah/Woodridge and

14 3

Kingston would form part of a new electorate. I say that the

said Hon. E.L. Robinson did not say that. Due to my considerable interests in this subject I paid great attention to the comments

that the Minister made and my recollection of what the Minister said is clear. The said

declaration also states that I was promoting myself and was being promoted by the Hon. E.L. Robinson as a candidate in the new electorate.

I know of no promotion on my behalf by Mr. Robinson at that meeting".

"I recall at the meeting that

Mrs. Rostedt asked a question concerning uranium. However I neither recall the substance of the question, nor do I recall the answer

that was given. I do recall

thinking that a question on uranium seemed to be unusual coming from a country district. I certainly do not recall the Minister stating that it was a good time to buy

uranium shares. In fact, had he

made such a comment, I would have been more likely to have paid attention to it because of my business background".

After the notice of proposed Distribution

144

appeared on 10 August 1977 he requested advice from the Honourable Eric Robinson as to how he should conduct himself to gain preselection (and he had had such advice in September 1977); and on occasions

discussed distribution with the Honourable Eric Robinson. He denied this statement attributed to him by Mr. Cameron -

"I have such an involvement that I was requested by a Minister to draw up the map of how the new Federal

seat should be".

He denied preparing any map even one for his

own use. I have accepted his evidence on this point.

His proposal in the letter of 17 May 1977 was prepared on his own initiative and not on anyone's request or suggestion.

He denied saying to Mr. Cameron -

"The new boundaries carne out just as I had suggested".

He agreed there were significant differences

between his proposal (Exhibit H) and the Commissioners' but that he did not in his disc.ussion highlight these differences to Mr. Cameron. This may have fostered Mr. Cameron's susp1c1ons. He denied ever

communicating with any of the Distribution Commissioners - in fact he did not know them.

His discussions in 1977 with the Honourable Eric Robinson about distribution seem not to have been

145

lengthy or detailed.

He said that Cameron had asked him who was

backing him; he replied "no one in particular".

I note that nowhere in his evidence did he

attribute to the Honourable Eric Robinson any statement predicting the names of new electorates.

The Honourable Eric Robinson, M.P.

His evidence in chief was given in the form of

a Statement which is Exhibit AAJ. He gave the

following evidence which I have to some extent paraphrased -

He has been a member of the

Re-distribution Committee of the Liberal Party in Queensland since 1966; as such he took an active

interest in Re-distribution Submissions until 1977.

In 1977, he was familiar in general terms with the general nature of the Party's Submission to the Commissioners. As a member of the State Executive he approved the Submission before it was forwarded to the Commissioners.

There had been speculation in the Press on re-distribution. See e.g.

The Gold Coast Bulletin of

146

[N. B.

29 January 1975 (Exhibit AAJl). Note also the Gold Coast Bulletin of 18 February 1977 (Exhibit V), and the Courier Mail of 14 May 1977 (Exhibit W)].

He gave an account of his meetings

with Mr. Coleman (already known to him) before and in 1977. In June 1977 they

met at an official function in Ipswich; on another occasion in a lift; and

again at an official function in Brisbane on 10 November 1977.

He had a meeting with Mr. Seymour on

16 September 1977 to discuss matters related to the Coolangatta Airport.

He has never met Mr. Serisier.

He mentioned Mr. Coleman for appointment as Australian Electoral Officer Queensland. He was not a member of

Cabinet when the appointment was made.

He denied having been approached by

the National Party with respect to the appointment of a Third Commissioner; but considered the appointment of a person to that office who had been a State electoral commissioner to be "undesirable".

He denied having asked Mr. Teulan to

prepare a map or having ever seen such

147

a map.

He does not recall whether in

respect of the Distribution Commissioners' Report, he said -as Mr. Cameron attributed to him -"He signed it, didn't he", though he might have said it in -

"exasperation at Mr. Cameron's attitude"; and because he knew from his reading in the Report itself that each had signed it.

He denied predicting at the Beaudesert

luncheon the names of Divisions or, as a matter of certainty, their boundaries or stating that anything he said was -

"not to go out of this room";

or that he promoted Mr. Teulan or that he referred to the Darlington Range; or that he had any advance

of what the Distribution

Commissioners would recommend.

[He mentioned uranium, to which I refer later].

He denied making any approach

directly or indirectly to the Distribution Commissioners for any reason or purpose.

Some time around or after 16 August 1977 Sir Alan Hulme said to him -

148

or words to the following effect -"I think that the Gold Coast

area should retain the name of McPherson because a Member develops an identity with, an electorate name and if the name

of your reduced area is changed, the National Party might try to use that as an excuse to mount

a three-cornered cont_est". (The Honourable Eric Robinson did not see any prospect of the National Party putting forward a candidate for this purpose).

In late August/early September, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers asked -"How are the Re-distribution proposals being accepted in

Queensland". He said -

"They seem alright" and then he (Robinson) reported to him the conversation with Sir Alan Hulme but omitting the reference to three-cornered contests. Senator Withers said -

"I do not like geographic names myself" and then mentioned the Fox Report. Also he (Robinson) quoted Sir Alan Hulme's

remarks to the Re-distribution Committee at the Liberal Party Office in Brisbane indicating there that the name could be corrected in Parliament. (Mr. Cameron's evidence is that this conversation occurred on 26 August 1977 ; I accept this

149

unchallenged evidence as correct); he thought there may have been more than one mention of the matter of the name to the

Re-distribution Committee. He said that after their first conversation on the subject, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers advised him that he had spoken to Mr. Pearson expressing the view that it would be better if a geographical name be not used; to which the

Honourable Eric Robinson replied -

"I do not want to be

involved in this at all".

The naming of the Division was not a matter of any substance to

him. He did not know in advance

and he had no idea that Senator

the Right Honourable R.G. Withers was going to speak to Mr. Pearson. This was done without his knowledge or approval.

He gave an account of what he said at the Beaudesert

luncheon which for convenience I set out by sentences which are separated, but omitting as not presently relevant references to uranium.

This will probably be my last visit to this area as your Federal Member.

150

This is numerically the largest electorate in Australia.

The quota for Federal electorates is set.

The coastline and boundary between New South Wales and Queensland are

fixed boundaries.

I believe that unlike the 1975 Re-distribution ... my seat will have to shrink onto the Gold

Coast.

The 1975 re-distribution which was defeated in Parliament provided that my seat be based on the Gold Coast plus Beaudesert,

Beenleigh, Kingston and

Woodridge ... and Boonah,

Harrisville and Rosewood ...

It seems to me ... by reason of

population growth on the Gold Coast that Beaudesert will have to be excluded and put in a new

electorate, i.e. -Because the quota of some 65,000 could be reached by taking the Gold Coast and environs running

out at Ormeau, south of Beenleigh.

I note that this account does ndt include any

151

prediction of names for electorates; and though this account was not put to all witnesses who had attended the luncheon, it is possible by process of examination of the evidence of all witnesses to

find some corroboration that he did make statements of this kind, except the reference to the 1975 Re-distribution.

Assuming he knew what the Distribution Commissioners were going to propose on 10 August 1977, the Honourable Eric Robinson had no motive that is apparent to me to disclose or forecast at

the Beaudesert luncheon what would be the result of Distribution unless to satisfy some vanity by demonstrating prescience. It must be remembered that this was a routine visit to a small number of

electors some of whom he met for the first time, and who would shortly cease to be his constituents. The probabilities seem to me to be against such disclosure. Ordinary caution itself would suggest

refraining from indiscretion.

The Distribution Commissioners

These gentlemen all deny any communication with the Honourable Eric Robinson about re-distribution; or with anyone else on the subject (except in the case of Mr. Coleman to whose conversation with Mr. Pearson I have referred at page x and will refer e.g. at page 233) otherwise

than in the normal course of the process of

re-distribution. I accept their evidence on this matter.

152

If it could be said that in some way the

Honourable Eric Robinson did have advance information, then I find it was not from or with

the knowledge of the Distribution Commissioners or any of them.

There can be only a limited number of sources by which the Honourable Eric Robinson had some early information. One of the possible ways in which the Honourable Eric Robinson could have

discovered confidential information was, on the finding I have just made,not availed of by him. The chance of his learning of - so as to be able

to predict - the names to be attached to Divisions

is to that extent lessened; and hence that he did

have advance information is by that alone rendered less likely.

It might be argued that the Honourable Eric Robinson showed in his talk at Beaudesert that he had some foreknowledge of boundaries of the new Division. My assessment of all the evidence is

that any opinion he offered as to the make up of

the new Divisions was unremarkable in view of the current state of opinion and a commonsense appreciation of what was a likely re8ult. For instance it was clear that the City of Gold Coast

and environs would, if only because of population (a factor stressed in the CorrunorlJJ)ealth Electoral Act 1918, s.l9) be the focal area of a coastal electorate. Areas such as Boonah, Beaudesert, Woodridge, and

Kingston would likely be in a new Division which might be or could possibly be described as partly

153

rural or predominantly rural.

Assisted by all the evidence I find that what might eventually be the final Distribution was in broad terms possible to forecast as a reasonable solution of the expected Distribution as it affected the old "McPherson". So far as the evidence shows that the Honourable Eric Robinson did refer to areas and localities and did express opinions as to where they would be included, his views were what any intelligent observer with his special interest in the subject may have offered.

Mr. K.W. Pearson

Except insofar as he participated in the change of name and in respect of the circulation of the document, Exhibit AAH (to which I refer later), no one has that Mr. Pearson interfered in

any way in the Distribution process. It is not

necessary therefore to analyse any aspect of his conduct except insofar as it relates to the two subjects mentioned above. I will deal with those matters in more detail later.

***

I have considered the whole of the evidence on the question of prediction of names and boundaries of new Divisions or of any display of awareness by the Honourable Eric Robinson of what

the Distribution Commissioners' proposals would be. I have seen the witnesses and heard Counsels' submissions. Despite criticisms which were made of the veracity of some of those who attended the Beaudesert luncheon, I consider they were persons

154

who honestly attempted to recount what they believed to be true. However there was evidence that all

of those who claimed to have heard a specific name predicted could have been unconsciously biased against the Honourable Eric Robinson. I emphasise that to say that a witness is biased does not mean,

and I do not intend to imply that he or she is

dishonest.

It must be remembered that in this context a variation of a word or two can make the difference between forecasting a name and referring to a location. There are more witnesses who attest to

the prediction than oppose it. However one should not be persuaded merely by numbers, particularly where there was frank admission of prior discussions amongst those who claim to have been informed of

electoral names and of the difficulty of recapturing precise words. The topic on which the Honourable Eric Robinson was speaking was quite unremarkable. So far as Exhibits G2 and G3 purport to quote his

statements, it is only necessary to accept what appears to be a minor verbal change and they become what seems to accord with a commonsense appreciation of what could be expected at that time as a result

of the distribution.

Leaving out of account the denials of the Honourable Eric Robinson, as I do for this discussion, I find that those who deny or fail to

support that accurate predictions were made are also giving an honest account of what they believed was said. Some of them might be expected to have

155

remembered what was said because they are more knowledgeable and concerned with political affairs than others.

The probabilities are, in my view, that the Honourable Eric Robinson would not have made such disclosures even if he had special knowledge.

Earlier I have referred to the degree of

satisfaction necessary to be brought to my mind so that I should then find a fact proven; that degree

has not been reached here. I remain in doubt as to

what precisely was said. On the probabilities I consider he did not use words explicitly predicting names, (i.e. "Gold Coast" and "McPherson") concerning the Electoral Divisions which emerged

as the result of the Distribution. Nor did he

make other remarks about the pending re-distribution that indicated improper knowledge of what was going to occur.

In my view there has not been established here any fact or circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety · by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

10. Change of name -

(a) That at a Liberal Party meeting

in Brisbane the Honourable Eric Robinson reported the objection of Sir Alan Hulme, K.B.E. to the

156

name "Gold Coast".

(b) That at a Liberal Party meeting

in Brisbane a decision that the name be changed in Parliament was taken.

(c) That the name of the electorate

was changed between 10 August 1977 and 26 September 1977 without any request through the statutory channels.

These allegations are found in Mr. Cameron's Statement, Exhibit Gl; and they were repeated and referred to in his viva voce evidence.

The significance sought to be attached to these series of events is that from them, the

inference (it is said) should be drawn that the Honourable Eric Robinson, having become aware of the names attributed to the proposed Electoral Division, viz. "Gold Coast", considered the loss of the name

"McPherson" might be disadvantageous to him or its retention an advantage; thereupon the inference is invited that in some way he, or others on his behalf, communicated with or influenced the Distribution

Commissioners (and in either case other than by the means referred to in s.l8A, s.20 and s.21 of the Act)

to change the name of "Gold Coast" to "McPherson". The Distribution Commissioners did so, then had to

find another name for the western Electoral Division which they called "Fadden", a name already suggested by the Liberal Party for a more western Electoral

157

Division, the nucleus of which was Darling Downs, and by the Progress Party, Exhibit BlS.

Further the allegation is that the Distribution Commissioners received such communication otherwise than as part of formal suggestions or objections and allowed themselves to be influenced to change the names to assist the purposes of the Honourable Eric Robinson.

In fairness to Mr. Cameron it should be observed that when he made the allegations leading up to this inquiry he was not aware of certain significant facts relating to the change of name which were revealed in evidence given in the course of the inquiry. He and others were left to speculate about something that did bear curious and unexplained features. However, my task is to consider the matter in the light of the evidence given before me.

How names attributed to Divisions came to be changed

This event was the subject of a great deal of

evidence and discussion. I set out the relevant facts in detail in a later part of this Report.

The Honourable Eric Robinson has denied that he communicated with the Distribution Commissioners upon the Distribution and in particular upon this subject; and they deny and each of them denies any

communication with him on the question of Distribution or change of name.

I find that the Distribution Commissioners

158

changed the names they used in their initial proposals of 10 August 1977 because of the events initiated about 15 September 1977 by the intervention of Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers in his conversations with Mr. Pearson.

Mr. Pearson, in turn, without mention of Senator Withers' name, indicated to Mr. Coleman that the present names would be more appropriate. So informed, and on 16 September 1977, Mr. Coleman

called a meeting of the Commissioners at which he stated that the names proposed did not conform to a convention or a practice laid down by a Select Committee.

Apparently in reliance on the convention or practice, he suggested that it would be appropriate to use the name "McPherson" for the eastern Division and "Fadden" for the western Division.

The Distribution Commissioners thereupon changed the names to "McPherson" for the_ eastern Division and "Fadden" for the western Division.

Further, I find from this evidence and the relevant denials by the Honourable Eric Robinson and the Commissioners that he did not communicate directly or indirectly with the Distribution

Commissioners on the subject of change of names or at all. I find that the Distribution Commissioners did not nor did any of them communicate on this

natter or at all with the Honourable Eric Robinson iirectly or indirectly.

Mr. Coleman would have been better advised to

159

have told Mr. Pearson he was not prepared to discuss this subject with him and that the Distribution Commissioners would make their own decision about names even though they were not charged with the

duty of finally fixing them. However, I do not

consider Mr. Coleman's action in discussing the matter with Mr. Pearson or his subsequent actions, which I believe were taken in good faith and in

reliance on his senior officer, amounted to impropriety. Similarly it is entirely understandable that the other Commissioners readily and in good faith agreed to Mr. Coleman's suggestion. Their action in so doing does not warrant in my view any

adverse criticism.

I find that there is no direct or circumstantial evidence, related to the changes of names referred to above, of any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or of impropriety by the Honourable Eric Robinson or the Distribution Commissioners or any of them.

11. That it was rumoured in Liberal Party circles that in the Distribution process Mr. D. F. Jull, M.P. was "the one to go" and that this may be

achieved by interference from outside.

Mr. Jull has been a Member of the House of

Representatives since 1975 representing the electors of the Federal Division of Bowman. Therefore he held the seat before the 1977 election and since. His electorate was reduced in its number of electors

in the Distribution process.

I understand the effect or purport of the rumour

160

referred to in evidence by Mr. Cameron to be that in

some way, in the process of distribution Mr. Jull would lose his seat, apparently by some approach to or influence exerted on the Distribution Commissioners.

Evidence upon this matter came from Mr. Joyce, for example -

Q. Just take what Mr. Cameron

said. He said to you, did

he not, that Mr. Robinson had tried to axe Mr. Jull

on the redistribution? That is what he said ... in

substance? A. Words to that effect.

No evidence (as opposed to a rumour referred

to by Mr. Cameron) which supports any vendetta against Mr. Jull has emerged. Nor is there any

evidence of interference from outside with the Distribution Commissioners on this topic. The Honourable Eric Robinson has denied (in effect) any feelings of enmity or intention to achieve Mr. Jull's

removal. It happens Mr. Jull did not go, though I

realise that does not negative the existence of an attempt to remove him.

Even if the Honourable Eric Robinson had some such feeling, no evidence exists that he acted pursuant to it. There was no evidence offered to support any fact as opposed to rumour. In my view

there has not been established here any fact or

161

circumstance which tends to prove any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety by the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent.

No "primary" fact has been proved or remains.

***

162

FINDING AFTER CONSIDERATION OF THE ANALYSIS OF ALLEGED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES

After a consideration of the evidence as to the facts and circumstances numbered 1 to 11, and of all the evidence, I FIND -

there are no "primary" facts from which I can be satisfied there occurred any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety in the of the relevant re-distribution

and change of name by or on the part of any

of the persons mentioned in the Letters Patent by reason of the matters in paragraphs a, . b, and c, or any of them in the Letters

Patent of 24 April 1978.

***

FINDING AS TO DIRECT EVIDENCE

After a consideration of all the evidence, I FIND -

there is no direct evidence of any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or any impropriety in the course of the relevant re-distribution and change of name by or on

the part of any of the persons mentioned in

the Letters Patent, by reason of the matters in paragraphs a, b, and c, or any of them in

the Letters Patent of 24 April 1978.

*** 163

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 24 APRIL 1978

I have inquired into the matters in Letters Patent of 24 April 1978 and on the evidence before me, I REPORT -

no breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety occurred in the course of . the Re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives, including the change of the name of a proposed Division from "Gold Coast" to

"McPherson" by reason of -

(a) anything said or action taken by

or on behalf of the Honourable Eric Robinson; (b) any action taken by the

Distribution Commissioners or any of them as a result of anything

said or action taken by or on

behalf of the Honourable Eric Robinson; or (c) any communication by the

Distribution Commissioners to the Honourable Eric Robinson.

***

164

LETTERS PATENT SIGNED 30 MAY 1978

By these Letters Patent the area of inquiry marked out by the Letters Patent of 24 April 1978 is

limited by the addition of the words -" in so far as the re-distribution

affected that part of the State of Queensland that, prior to the re-distribution, comprised the Division of McPherson".

It is widened, inasmuch as I am to inquire whether a

breach of a law of the Commonwealth or impropriety occurred by reason of the activities set out in paragraphs a, b and c, in the Letters Patent, of any

person. Under the first Letters Patent I was concerne · only with possible actions of the Honourable Eric Robinson and the Distribution Commissioners. To the extent to which it is necessary or convenient in this present inquiry I rely on the decisions reached and

findings already made.

"Any person"

The following were significantly active in the events covered by the evidence -Mr. J.M. Serisier Mr. R.M. Seymour

Mr. F.J. Coleman

Mr. K.W. Pearson

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers

Distribution Commissioner ' Distribution Commissioner Chairman of Distribution Commissioners and

Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland Chief Australian Electoral Officer Minister for Administrative

Services, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Minister responsible for the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and the Representation Act 1905

166

FINDING AS TO BREACH OF A LAW

On all the evidence before me, I FIND -

In the course of the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives (including the change of the name of

a proposed Division from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson") in so far as the re-distribution affected that part of the State of Queensland that prior to the re-distribution comprised the Division of "McPherson" no breach of a law of the Commonwealth occurred by

reason of -

(a) anything said or action taken by

or on behalf of any person;

(b) any action taken by the

Distribution Commissioners or any of them as a result of anything

said or action taken by or on

behalf of any person; or

(c) any communication by the

Distribution Commissioners to any person.

***

167

IMPROPRIETY

Earlier I have discussed the meaning of this word. (See page 21). What follows is to be read

in the light of those observations.

The actions of each of the persons mentioned at pagel66 merit examination in more detail with respect to -

1. The preparation and circulation of a Document (Exhibit AAH) entitled: "Queensland - Analysis of initial proposals of Distribution Commissioners"

2. The Change of Name

(I mention these matters in order of convenience of discussion, not of importance).

osals of

Before attempting to categorise the conduct of any individual in relation to this document its appearance in evidence should be noted.

Below I set out that evidence given by Mr. Pearson (Exhibit AAL) wherein he explained how this document came into existence and was sent to Mr. Coleman -

"By memo dated 24 March 1977, a directive was made by me, that the research papers produced by the Research, Legislation and Projects

168

Section of the Central Office of the Australian Electoral Office should be made available to the Australian Electoral Officers in

each of the States. This memo is

attached and marked KWP.l".

''I refer to the document entitled · 'Queensland - Analysis of Initial Proposals of Distribution Commissioners' (Exhibit AAH).

This document is a research analysis of the effects of the redistribution in 'political terms', which indicated basically how, all

other things being equal, the 1974 and 1975 elections would have gone had they been conducted on the boundaries proposed by the

Redistribution Commissioners. A similar analysis was carried out in respect of each State. I do not

recollect whether the question of the circulation of these analyses was discussed with me in any particular way".

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... .

"In addition, I would point out that analyses along the same lines, but not in as fine detail, are produced

by political commentators. I attach an example of such an analysis which was carried out by Malcolm Mackerras and published in 'The Bulletin' of

169

17 September 1977. That copy is marked KWP3".

I accept this evidence except that I do not

agree that the analysis only -

" indicated basically how, all

other things being equal, the 1974 and 1975 elections would have gone had they been conducted on the boundaries proposed by the

Redistribution Commissioners".

What it does additionally is forecast what might be the result of a future election, using past voting figures and applying them to the Divisions with their new boundaries.

Mr. Pearson has accepted full responsibility for the sending out of the document AAH. The document was referred to first by Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers and then by Mr. Coleman in his evidence. This last evidence was given on

31 May 1978, i.e. the day these Letters Patent, signed on 30 May 1978, were read at the hearing and made part of the record of this Commission.

The purpose of the document is summed up in the opening paragraph which I quote -

"The purpose of this paper is to

examine the effects that the adoption of the initial proposals of the Distribution Commissioners

170

may have on the level of support .

for each political party in each division in Queensland".

At the outset, and having regard tc the apolitical activity which presumably is being undertaken by the Distribution Commissioners, it is not easy to see what value such information could have for the Commissioners. - The document assesses the possible

effect of the distribution on metropolitan seats in terms of "safe", "less safe", etc. I quote an

example -

(N.B.

24571/78-7

"Political Effects in Metropolitan Divisions In the metropolitan area, there are currently four L.N.P. seats which

appear safe (Petrie, Ryan, McPherson and Moreton) . While the proposed McPherson is somewhat less safe than the existing McPherson, the L.N.P.

vote would still have been about 54%* in 1974 and 62% in 1975. Ryan has

been made safer for the L.N.P. by 1.5% (averaging the results which would have occurred in 1974 and 1975), while Moreton and Petrie are virtually

unchanged in polit1cal character.

* Levels of -support referred to in the rest of the paper are

the party preferred votes

appearing in Attachments A and B". These levels of support will found in the

attachments to Exhibit AAH). 171

The seats outside the author's grouping of the category of metropolitan seats are similarly treated, using the same terminology, this time alluding to seats as having been "weakened" for the coalition. Thus, the document reads -

"Political Effects in Non-Metropolitan Divisions There are currently five safe L.N.P. seats in the non-metropolitan area

(Darling Downs, Fisher, Kennedy and Maranoa plus the new division of Gold Coast). Darling Downs has been slightly weakened for the coalition, Fisher

considerably weakened, Kennedy slightly strengthened and Maranoa considerably strengthened. However, the L.N.P. vote is so large in these divisions, that it

is almost inconceivable that these alterations would result in any of these seats changing hands at a future election".

At the end of the paper the document reads -

"Conclusion The division of McPherson into two seats has created an additional safe L.N.P. seat (Gold Coast). The position in the other nine non-metropolitan divisions is almost unchanged; there remain four safe L.N.P. seats, two fairly safe L.N.P. seats and three marginal L.N.P. seats.

172

Oxley has been somewhat strengthened for the A.L.P."

In the portion headed "Conclusion" there is a comment on what might be the result of a "swing" viz.

"In the metropolitan area the four safe L.N.P. seats remain safe. Of the four marginal L.N.P. seats, two (Bowman and Brisbane) have been

somewhat strengthened, one (Lilley) is unchanged and one (Griffith) has been considerably weakened. Given a future swing against the coalition

of up to 8% on 1975 figures, this

would seem to place the L.N.P. in a

somewhat improved position in the metropolitan seats. However, given a larger swing against the L.N.P., the redistribution would be likely to

have 1 itt 1 e effect on the res u 1 t of

the election".

There follows what could well have been considered a significant assessment viz. -

"Under the proposed boundaries, as at present, the position of the N.P. is less favourable than that of the

L. P. The N. P. would lose three seats

(Capricornia, Dawson and Leichhardt) in a uniform swing of 4% as against

the L.P. 's one (Griffith). There is,

however, the possibility, albeit

173

unlikely, that the N.P. rather than the L. P. might win McPherson".

The final statement in the Analysis is worded thus -

"Given the creation of an additional safe L.N.P. seat (Gold Coast) and the slightly improved position of the L.N.P. in the metropolitan area, it appears that the redistribution favours the coalition parties as against the A.L.P."

(All italics are mine).

The Cormnora»ealth Electoral Act 1918., s.l9, reads -

"19. In making any proposed distribution of a State into Divisions, the Distribution Commissioners shall give due consideration, in relation to each proposed Division, to -

(a) community of interests within the Division, including economic, social and regional interests; -(b) means of communication and

travel within the Division; (c) the trend of population

changes within the State; (d) the physical features of the

Division; and (e) existing boundaries of Divisions and Subdivisions,

174

and subject thereto the quota of electors shall be the basis for the distribution, and the Distribution Commissioners may adopt a margin of allqwance, to be used whenever necessary, but in no case shall the quota be departed

from to a greater extent than one-tenth more or one-tenth less".

Even if one were to assume that s.l9 does not

provide an exclusive code for the guidance of Distribution Commissioners, I consider that questions of advantage or disadvantage to political parties are alien to the proper subjects for their

consideration. If I am correct in that view then

they should not be concerned with statistics and opinion such as this document offers. That it should come to them through "official channels" was unfortunate, to say the least. I do not suggest it

influenced their actions in any way; though to observe that they took no action and made no variation following its receipt to their proposals does not prove that; it is possible to argue, for

example, that Distribution Commissioners would have made changes but did not because of what they read. If it were not material they should properly consider, it does not lose that quality because of

current news media speculation to like effect which they might see.

Reference is now made to the evidence as to the

treatment of the document by the persons mentioned above. There is no evidence that Mr. Serisier read it or considered it. His evidence in fact does not

175

refer to it. Mr. Seymour was shown it. His

reaction was to feel "uncomfortable with this piece of information". He said there was "limited discussion" about it and

II I thought that it was

introducing into the discussions, into our deliberations, matters which lay outside the terms of the Act, and I, for that matter,

did not wish to study it or become

familiar with it in any way, and I

indicated that at the time".

This view taken by the witness then seems to me to

be a correct assessment. Certainly it did not occur to Mr. Seymour that because s.l9 did not explicitly state that only the criteria mentioned there were to be considered, he should find some assistance from

this document. Mr. Coleman read the document and was not really interested in it but thought it was proper material for him to see. It carne to him as

"Chairman of the Redistribution Commissioners" and he just passed it on to the other Commissioners. He was no longer on full time duties as a Commissioner when it reached him. It may have had some relevance

to his work as Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland. If so, he might be said to have a

separate duty in that capacity to receive the document and was obliged to do so even though the material might not be suited for consideration in his task as C

. . 9

a omm1ss1oner. ·

No changes were made nor was anything done

(except to the name - and that matter was not discussed

176

in Exhibit AAH) following its receipt. I do not

regard Mr. Coleman's views about the justification for having recourse to such a document as correct. But on the evidence before me he had never acted before as a Distribution Commissioner, he did not

ask for the document, and he was not warned that _it was being sent. The circulation of Exhibit AAH at this time was but the implementation of a directive by Mr. Pearson on 24 March 1977 (Exhibit AALl) and

was in my opinion not intended to influence the Distribution Commissioners, and did not in fact influence them.

I do not find that ar1s1ng out of the existence

and circulation of Exhibit AAH the Distribution Commissioners or any of them could be open to criticism or that they were guilty of any act of impropriety.

Mr. Pearson's part in this matter has already been mentioned. His evidence (Exhibit AAL) gives some historical reference which I quote -

"My understanding is that in

1974/1975, the then Chief Australian Electoral Officer, Mr. Ley, in fact, asked the

Australian electoral officers in the states to produce such analyses themselves and similar analyses were also produced in

the Central Office. My understanding is that analyses of this nature have been produced at least since 1968.

177

My recollection is that the

analyses on this occasion were asked for by the Minister's Office, but in fact they had

been planned before there was any such request for them. The

Minister's Office was aware, for example, that similar analyses had been prepared for the previous Government".

His attempt in evidence to rationalise the placing of this information before the Distribution Commissioners has not persuaded me to vary the opinion I have earlier expressed. If the material is to be useful for an Electoral Officer as opposed to a Distribution Commissioner, it could well be given to him after the final proposals are incorporated in a Report, as Mr. Pearson seemed to agree.

As stated earlier Mr. Pearson has accepted full

responsibility for the distribution of Exhibit AAH; which says much for his sense of honour. I have an

impression from the evidence that the circulation of the document or its contents were not matters to which he gave much thought at the time. Certainly he had no improper motive in any authorization for

its distribution.

I am not satisfied that he was at fault in this

matter and I make no finding of impropriety against him.

178

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers expressed himself unequivocally thus -Q. Do you agree that Distribution

Commissioners should not pay regard to what may be the consequences of the distribution provisions on voting for a particular party or a particular

candidate? A. Oh I think it is none of their

business.

which seems to accord with my thoughts earlier expressed. However, I accept, as I understand his evidence that he believed that Exhibit AAH was a communication from the Chief Electoral Officer to

the Minister for the latter's purposes. Assuming that task is within the duties of that official, I

do not consider that any doctrine of Ministerial responsibility operates to make the circulation of the Analysis document to the Commissioners or any of them the action of the Minister, i.e. for the

purposes of the Letters Patent.

In the result my finding is that there has not

been any impropriety on the part of the Distribution Commissioners, Mr. Pearson or Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers, arising out of the circulation or perusal of Exhibit AAH.

The Change of Name

Here I refer to a finding already made as to

how the change of name came about (see page 159). It is not necessary to reiterate facts already set out.

179

It will be useful to discuss what seems to me

to be a matter of consequence in this area of the

inquiry and I proceed to do this

The poZitiaaZ signifiaanae of the name of an EZeatoraZ Division in Queensland

There has been evidence that it could be an advantage to a sitting member and his Party seeking re-election that he is a candidate for an Electoral Division with whose name, his name is associated; so that he would then be known e.g.

"Robinson, the member for McPherson".

The possible advantage is that, given that continuity of association, the sitting Member would be more likely to retain some votes, and to attract others, and less likely to lose some votes.

Of even greater significance is a special consideration that existed in the State of Queensland relating to "coalition politics", that is to say, relations between the Liberal and National Parties.

A disruptive element in such relations was the possibility of "three-cornered" electoral contests, that is to say, contests in which the Liberal and

National Parties, as well as the Labor Party, both fielded a candidate. This was a live issue in the

part of Queensland with which this inquiry was concerned because of recent events in relation to State elections. There was a body of evidence to the effect that the naming of the proposed new Electoral Divisions was, or could be, of considerable

180

significance in this connection, and that the retention of the name "McPherson" for the Honourable Eric Robinson's electorate could reduce or avoid the risk of a three-cornered contest in that electorate. The reason for that relates to the possibility that

after re-distribution the seat, if it did not retain its previous name would be a "new seat" and therefore open to a "three-cornered" contest.

Information and opinion evidence on this topic is available from Various sources :

Mr. D.M. Cameron, M.P. He had been a member of the Liberal Party and

of the House of Representatives first for Griffith and then for the new Fadden for a total of llYz years.

He agreed with the description of himself, that he was widely regarded as an extremely capable "grass roots" politician. His considerable experience is set out in his Statement (Exhibit Gl).

He gave this evidence -

Q. What advantage do you say accrued

to Mr. Robinson because of the change of name? A. The change of name is of huge

political significance.

Q. Alright, what is it then? He is

standing for a ·seat that has the

same name. Does that give him

an advantage? A. Yes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

181

Q. We have enumerated the two

of them, have we not, that

he stands for a seat of the

same name?

A. Yes.

Q. That is a seat with which ne

has been identified? A. Yes.

Q. He reduces the possibility of

a three cornered ' contest? A. Yes, as in his mind and in

the mind perhaps of people he discussed the matter with on the - towards the end of

August.

Q. . .. there was never any real

possibility of a three cornered contest, was there? A. The National Party could have

been clever in making Mr. Robinson run for what is now Fadden when it had the name of McPherson upon it if it had

wanted to do so.

Mr. Cameron also gave evidence (Exhibit Gl) that at the meeting of the Redistribution Committee of the Liberal Party in Brisbane on 26 August 1977 the Honourable Eric Robinson said -

"Sir Alan Hulme has rung me and said we had better get the name of McPherson back on the Gold

182

Coast because otherwise there might be a three-cornered contest".

The Honourable Eric Robinson in his own account (Exhibit AAJ) of what had happened at the Redistribution Committee Meeting said only that he mentioned Sir Alan Hulme's conversation; he

did not set it out. But in cross-examination when the Statement of Mr. Cameron as quoted was put to him he said -

"I recall using words to that

effect. My own recall is that

it was not said officially at a meeting. It was sa1d

unofficially at the end of the meeting to one or two people who were there".

I accept that the Honourable Eric Robinson did pass on what was said by Sir Alan Hulme, in the terms

related by Mr. Cameron which I have quoted as including the part of it which expresses the reason for the change i.e.

"otherwise there might be a three-cornered contest".

So it appears that the Honourable Eric Robinson passed on the opinion of Sir Alan Hulme, K.B.E. as being at least an authoritative opinion worthy of respect.

183

Mr. D.P. Jull, M.P.

He is a member of the Liberal Party

representing the Division of Bowman adjoining McPherson to the North and sharing a common border with the old Division of "McPherson" and the new Divisions of "McPherson" and "Fadden".

His view is illustrated by the evidence of what, referring to the 10 August 1977 proposal, he said to the Honourable Eric Robinson viz. -

"If that name Gold Coast is left

as it is, you will be in trouble

from the National Party".

He elaborates on this -

Q. When you said to Mr. Robinson

some time after 10 August, "If that name Gold Coast is

left as it is, you will be in

trouble from the National Party", to what kind of trouble were you referring? A. To the possibility of a three-way

contest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... .

Q. What, in your mind, gave rise

to the possibility of a three-cornered contest if the name Gold Coast was left as it

was?

A. Well, it was a new division, and

under the terms of the agreement,

184

the National-Country Party would have had a right to stand

a candidate in that area. Q. It was your understanding which you were expressing in the remark which you made to

Mr. Robinson that the name Gold Coast attaching to the electorate on the eastern seaboard, in accordance with

the Distribution Commissioners' proposals, would have put Mr. Robinson at risk of having to run against a National Party

candidate? A. Yes.

THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. Excuse me, does that follow

because the new division was not named as had the old division been named? A. Yes, the fact that "Gold Coast"

had been designated as a new seat name would have opened up that possibility. Q. But if it had been named

McPherson - is this what you are

saying - then the convention would have precluded there being any three-cornered contest? A. Yes.

MR. GLEESON:

Q. So it was your understanding

some time after 10 August 1977

185

as a Liberal member of the Federal Parliament that a great deal. of importance attached to whether or not Mr. Robinson's new electorate was called by the old name of McPherson or by the new name of Gold Coast? A. Yes.

Q. And it was your understanding as a Liberal member of the Federal Parliament at that time there was in the

proposals of the Distribution Commissioners that the electorate be named Gold Coast a danger for the Liberal Party? A. Yes.

Q. And in particular, .a danger for

Mr .- Robinson?

A. Yes.

Q. And it was that idea which you

were intending to communicate to Mr. Robinson when you said to him what you did? A. Yes.

That Mr. Jull did speak to the Honourable Eric Robinson as quoted is corroborated by the Honourable Eric Robinson and I accept that these words were spoken, and must have been noted by the Honourable Eric Robinson, as he recalls ·them in his

Statement (Exhibit AAJ). The following excerpts from viva voae evidence illustrate further Mr. Jull 's

186

view of the possibilities in -distribution-

Q. Is it true therefore to say

that, whilst a redistribution is pending and proceeding, so far as the commission is

concerned, there is a great deal of speculation, anxiety and gossip on the part of the

members?

A. Certainly.

Q. Do you know of a convention

between the coalition parties with respect to an agreement not to stand against a sitting Minister? A. Yes.

Q. So are there two conventions

really between the coalition parties so far as are relevant

to this discussion? There may be a three-cornered contest in some instances when there is a change of an electorate; is

that so?

A. Yes.

Q. But there is a well established

convention that a sitting Minister will not be opposed by a candidate from the other coalition party? A. Look, I am sorry, I may have

misread that earlier question. I wasn't at all sure of the

situation with a Minister, but

187

certainly so far as a

three-cornered contest is concerned, there is a convention that, if a new seat becomes available or a seat is vacated, it is

possible then for both coalition parties to run a candidate. THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. Possible for what?

A. For both coalition parties,

the Liberal Party and the National-Country Party. MR. CALLINAN:

Q. Do you disagree with the

proposition that there is also a convention that a sitting Minister will not be opposed? A. There could well be.

Mr. F.E. James Already I have referred to this gentleman, who in July 1977 was President of the Beaudesert branch of the Liberal Party. He did not express any

opinion as to whether the names of electorates were in some way relevant to the matter of contests. He agreed he had not ever heard it

suggested. He does express a view about politics in Queensland as follows -

Q. From the point of view of a

Liberal, however, some delicate

188

and difficult political problems arise in relation to the National Party? A. Yes, it would be fair to say that.

Q. It is a very successful, political

party in the state sphere? A. Yes.

Q. And in terms of electoral contests

a matter of particular political sensitivity in Queensland is the matter of three-cornered contests? A. Yes.

Q. That is to say elections in which

the principal candidates represent the Liberal Party, the National Party and the Australian Labor Party? A. Yes.

Q. And in terms of local politics in

the sense in which I have used

that word, it would be fair to say,

would it not, that the possibility of a three-cornered contest in an electorate would be one about which active .members of the Liberal Party would be acutely sensitive? A. Yes.

Q. Have you ever heard it suggested

that the names of electorates are in some way relevant to that matter of three-cornered contests? A. No, sir.

189

Mr. K.M. Cairns, M.P. He has been a member of the House of

Representatives for the seat of Lilley (north-west of and sharing a common boundary with the Division of Bowman) from 1963 to 1972 and from 1974 to date. His version of the implication (and advantage) to a sitting Member and to a Party of the name of an

electorate is set out in his Statement which is Exhibit AO -

"I am aware that the first proposal by the Distribution Commissioners, the subject of this inquiry provided for a new seat adjoining the incorporating part of the old seat of McPherson. That first proposal provided that the seat centred on the Gold Coast which was the substantive part of the old McPherson should be called 'Gold Coast'

and another electorate was to be called 'McPherson'. There were no public submissions made to the commissioners relating to the proposed names of electorates between the first proposal and the final proposal. In the final

proposal the name of McPherson was to be retained for the seat centred on the Gold Coast and the newly created seat was to be called Fadden. In no previous

redistribution since World War II has a change of name been allocated to an electoral division in this manner. The process followed was unique so far as I am aware. For many years the coalition

· parties - the Liberal Party and the

190

National Party - had certain understandings relating to 'three­ cornered contests'. These understandings included the following

(a) the coalition parties would not

run candidates against each other ' in seats held by members of the coalition. (b) the coalition parties may engage

in three-cornered contests in seats that were vacant in the sense that sitting members did not seek to contest the seat

again 'new seats' which included seats that had changed with a redistribution and had a new name.

In 1976 and 1977 the coalition parties in Queensland broke these agreements. At the State Liberal Party Convention in Toowoomba in 1976 a resolution was passed

revoking the understandings on three-cornered contests. Its interpretation throughout 1977 dominated coalition politics in Queensland. The possibility of such contests was quite pervasive, e.g. in the

state election in 1977 the Speaker of the Queensland parliament, who was a National Party member was challenged by a Liberal Party candidate in his seat of Redc1iffe.

The Speaker was regarded as of Ministerial

191

status and ill-feeling dominated relations between the Queensland parties in consequence. Although the State election took place in November 1977 feelings were sensitive during the year of the election.

The background was such therefore that any person from the coalition parties nominating for a new seat no longer retained immunity from a contest.

The change of name of the subject electorate from 'Gold Coast' to 'McPherson' had immense political significance. In the strained coalition atmosphere at the time, Mr. Robinson could not claim immunity to a challenge because :

(a) his seat could have been regarded

as a 1 new seat', it not only had

a new name but also it had been

substantially redistributed; (b) Ministerial status was no

protection;

(c) Mr. Robinson was a well known

proponent of 'taking on' the National Party in three-cornered contests; and (d) State seats in the proposed

electorate of 'Gold Coast' were held by the National Party.

I am informed the question of a

three-cornered contest was raised at the

192

Liberal Party Redistribution Committee meeting after the first publication of maps. Mr. Robinson was on that committee. The name 'McPherson' was important because

by affixing that name to the seat made it

lose the characteristic of being 'new'. Mr. Robinson would have been far safer from National Party challenge - being a Minister in an 'old seat'. A useful

guarantee".

He agreed later he may not have fully stated the

understandings between the parties. He was asked if he could give an example of a sitting Federal Minister of either of the coalition parties having in any election since 1949 been opposed in an

election by a candidate from the other political party in Queensland. This answer was -

"No, and they are quite different to the circumstances in 1977".

He agreed that the new seat of McPherson was -

"A very good seat for anybody in the

coalition".

I note that Mr. Cairns uses the word "understanding" in the sense of express oral agreement.

The witness' proposition as to what is a 'new' seat includes that a seat may become a new seat and therefore one open to a three-cornered contest merely by reason of the fact that there has been some change

in the boundaries of the seat and a change in its

193

name. As I understand his evidence, he would have regarded the Gold Coast, as it appeared in the proposal of 10 August 1977 as a 'new' seat. He

pointed out that the Division 'Gold Coast' had western and northern boundaries which were different to those of the old Division, McPherson.

His evidence on this was -

Q. Subject to that qualification,

what I put to you is correct?

A. There are new northern and western

boundaries.

Q. And the Distribution Commissioners

made a proposal that would have altered the name of that electorate also from McPherson to Gold Coast? A. Yes.

Q. By what process of political

reasoning does one justify describing that in those circumstances as a new seat? A. It has significantly different

people in it, it has a new name,

first of all, and seats are

nominated by name pre-eminently, rather than by boundaries. The north and west boundaries (particularly the west boundaries) were altered quite significantly

and, to that extent, you have a

very different seat. Q. You say it is different in the

sense not that people who were in it had not been in the old seat of

194

McPherson, but negatively, in the sense that a lot of people who had

been in the old seat of McPherson are not in the ·new seat of McPherson? A. Yes, and that is a significant

difference.

MR. GLEESON:

Q. Why should that kind of a difference

be thought to justify a three-cornered contest? A. Or to make one available if one

wanted to have one? Q. Yes?

A. You have a new seat with a name and

seats are known by their names. When the speaker calls a person in Parliament, he calls him by the name of the seat, and that is how

they are known, so overwhelmingly there is a new seat ............. .

He gave this further evidence -

THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. Let us take it a step further:

when there is a redistribution, is everything that results from it, in terms of a new division - is that

a new seat?

A. No.

Q. When is it new after a redistribution?

A. The character that would - the

overwhelming character that would cause it to be new would be the

name. It would also be influenced by

195

other configuration of the seat. For example, in the seat of Calare in New South Wales, the seat held presently by Mr. McKenzie, it comprises - it has got an old name,

but its boundaries have been substantially altered, and so the Liberal Party in New South Wales decided that they would contest that seat in the last federal

election, and so they did on that

reasoning.

Q. All right, so you can have a new

seat because of a new name or because of a different configuration, in both instances following a redistribution? A. Yes.

Q. So then we get to what is really,

with respect, a very inexact science. People would have to sit down and debate whether McPherson as it finally turns out to be was new or

old?

A. Yes, your Honour.

Q. It follows, does it, that the

sitting member would not know whether he was at risk or not at

risk once the place became called McPherson? A. Political science was never a

science, your Honour.

He said that names in the State of Queensland were

much more significant than names elsewhere.

196

Mr. R.L. Sparkes He was before 1977 and is now the State

President of the National Party of Queensland. His evidence includes, inter alia, in Exhibit AAQ, the following which I have to some extent paraphrased -

"The National Party organization in each State is autonomous.

The National Party has a long standing policy of complete opposition to three-cornered contests involving sitting coalition members; except where the other

coalition party invites such a three-cornered contest.

This policy has been reaffirmed at meetings of the Party's central council on 8 May 1977 and 10 August 1977.

On 2 September 1977 at a meeting of

the Party's State Management Committee there was again indicated the Party's aversion to three-cornered contests. It can be noted from a

text of a motion then passed that seats for which the Party intended to call nominations did not include the Federal seat 'Gold Coast' (as

then known) .

The fact that it was not intended to

call for nominations for the Gold

197

Coast Federal Seat would not have become known to the Liberal Party or general public until the advertisement calling for nominations was placed in the newspapers on 19 October 1977.

The National Party policy of opposition to three-cornered contests embraced sitting coalition party Ministers as well as backbenchers; but there was no agreement oral or written between National and Liberal Parties exempting Cabinet Ministers from three-cornered contests.

In the Gold Coast area in 1977

National Party members in the area were incensed by the announcement of the Liberal Party early in 1977 that it proposed running a candidate against the sitting National Party Member for the State seat of Surfers Paradise (Sir (Andrew) Bruce Small, Kt., K.St.J., M.L.A.). Many National Party Members sought

as a means of retaliation to run a

National Party candidate against the Honourable Eric Robinson. However their desire was not accepted by the Management Committee of the National Party.

198

His viva voce evidence includes the following or agreement with it (paraphrased) -

Never in the St,ate of Queensland has a sitting Minister of the Federal coalition Government of either National Party (formerly the Country Party) or the Liberal Party been

opposed by a candidate representing the other coalition partner and this for some 15 or 20 years.

In the year 1974/1975 and the last

Federal election the National Party co-operated to secure the return of the Honourable Eric Robinson.

In the case of a redistribution, the question of determining what constitutes a sitting Member has never been definitely formulated by

either Party.

Where you have a redistribution and the seats are significantly altered some doubt may arise as to what constitutes a sitting Member. There being no written agreement, it has

generally been the practice where there is a re-distribution, an effort would be made for the two parties to reach an agreement on the

allocation of seats so that sitting Members of both parties were given seats.

199

The National Party would tend to look at the number of voters

of the original seat that were in the seat the Parliamentarian claimed and the geographical situation (how much of the new seat was part of the old seat).

There has never been any precise criteria spelt out for determining what constitutes a sitting member.

There is no agreement between the National and Liberal Parties as to three-cornered contests; the policy espoused by the National Party is unilateral.

The National Party does not say it will not embark on three-cornered contests under any circumstances.

The Liberal Party in 1976 adopted a policy which permits it to, under certain circumstances, stage three-cornered contests.

By reason of the Liberal Party a few years ago amending their policy constitution to provide that a

local area committee of the Liberal Party could recommend a three-cornered contest if they could meet certain criteria (namely suitability of candidates, finance); under those

200

circumstances the executive was practically bound to embark on a three-cornered contest. Since that time it has not been

possible for the National Party Executive to enter into any meaningful agreement with the Liberal Party executive because

under their constitution they could virtually insist on a three-cornered contest and one would have to be held.

The Liberal Party has from time to time broken the agreement as to three-cornered contests and run candidates against sitting members

of the National Party; the National Party has never initiated a three-cornered contest against the Libe,ral Party.

The name of an electorate would have relevance, but it would be considered in the context of the other factors - demographic, geographical and so on".

He said by way of elaboration of points paraphrased,

(supra) -Q. What if any relevance does a

re-distribution have to the categorization of a person as a sitting coalition party member? A. The question of determining what

201

constitutes a sitting member has never to the best of my

knowledge been definitely formulated by either the National Party or the Liberal Party. Obviously, of course, there is no doubt what

constitutes a sitting member where you have no redistribution - the position is quite clear in

those circumstances. Where you have a redistribution of the boundaries and the seats are significantly altered some doubt may arise as to what constitutes

a sitting member.

He said there was no agreement between the National

Party and the Liberal Party in relation to three-cornered contests. There is a policy which the National Party espouses -

" one of opposition to three-cornered

contests unilateral". the position is entirely

Then this appears in his evidence -

"I cannot entirely be certain if my knowledge of the Liberal Party constitutional history is correct, but there was a period of time a

few years ago where the Liberal Party state executive, to the best of my knowledge, had the final say

202

24571178- 8

as to whether or not the -Liberal Party initiated a three-cornered contest in any state or federal election and then their policy -

if not theii constituti6n - was amended to provide that a local area committee of the Liberal Party could recommend a three-cornered

contest if they could meet certain criteria, namely suitability of candidates, finance and so on, and under those circumstances the

executive was practically bound to embark on a three-cornered contest, so since that time anyway it really has not been possible for the National

Party's state management committee to enter into any meaningful agreement with the Liberal Party executive because , .as I s a y , un d·e r their

constitution _a local area committee could virtually insist ori a three­ cornered contest and one would have to be held.

In years gone by there has been from

time to time an understanding that three-cornered contests should not be held, but unfortunately the Liberal Party has seen fit to break this

agreement on various occasions and run candidates sitting members

of the National Party. The National Party has never initiated a three­ cornered contest against the Liberal Party".

203

And later -Q. Now coming back to this

concept of a sitting coalition party member, that concept lies at the heart of the

National Party's policy in relation to this matter. Is

that correct? A. Yes.

Q. And that is a concept which

has clear consequences where there is no redistribution. Correct? A. Yes.

Q. But it is a concept which does

not of itself yield a result

where there has been a redistribution; something further has to be worked out

in practice? A. Yes, that is correct.

Unfortunately there are many aspects of politics that are not a precise science, and this could be one of them.

He referred to a conversation that he had with the

Honourable Eric Robinson after the final federal boundary seats were published, and a candidate had been selected by the National Party for Fadden -

Q. What was the substance of the

conversation? A. To the best of my recollection

I suggested to Mr. Robinson that

204

it would make it easier from our point of view - and when I

say "our point of view", I am

talking about the executive of the National Party - it would

be easier from our point of

view to resist the pressure from our members on the Gold Coast that a candidate should run against Mr. Robinson if he appeared not

to actively support the Liberal Party candidate in the seat of Fadden. That, to the best of my

recollection is the essence of the conversation. Q. What was the pressure to which you

were referring in that conversation? A. Well, naturally, of course, our

members in the Gold Coast area were unhappy when Mr. Robinson won the seat which was previously held, as you will recall, by

Cedric Barnes and when he retired Mr. Robinson won the seat by a

relatively small margin from the National Party candidate, Mr. Richter. The National Party members and supporters in the

area were not very happy to be

losing the seat, quite understandably. Ever since that time they have been anxious to re-contest the seat in varying degrees. By that I mean on

some occasions ther e has been considerable pressure and on other

205

·occasions very little. In 1977, of course, the Liberal Party early in the year announced that it proposed to stand candidates against some sitting National Party state members, including Sir Bruce Small, the National Party member for Surfers Paradise. That upset our members of the Gold

Coast area, and there was pressure as to fielding a candidate in the

federal election against Mr. Robinson by way of retaliation. But as I have indicated in my

statement, the state executive of my party did not accept that that

would be a wise action.

Sir Alan Hulme, K.B.E. His own political career is a distinguished one. I summarise what appears from the evidence as follows

In 1943 he joined the Queensland Peoples Party which subsequently became in 1949 the Queensland Division of the Liberal Party of Australia.

From 1946 to 1949 he was President of the Queensland Peoples Party.

He was a member of the House of

Representatives from 1949 to 1961 and from 1963 to 1972.

206

In 1963 he was the Prime Minister's representative on the party's State Executive in Queensland.

He was Minister for Supply from 1958

to 1961, and Postmaster-General from 1963 to 1972 when he, having had more than 21 years in the Parliament, retired.

There were Distributions during his active political life [as I understand it the old "McPherson" Division came into being in 1948].

Already I have referred to his telephone conversation with the Honourable Eric Robinson, but now quote his own version of this -

"You should seek in an objection to alter the name from 'Gold Coast' to 'McPherson' and the Commissioners should find another name for the western electorate for which 'Gold

Coast' is not appropriate. If in

fact the Commissioners did not change it, then it could be done by the

parliament on the recommendation of the Government per the medium of the resolution of the House". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"If the names are changed and Gold Coast becomes McPherson you would avoid the National Country Party nominating a candidate for the seat".

207

Sir Alan said further -"Mr. Robinson thanked me for my comments and went on to say to the

effect that he wished 'Gold Coast' had been called 'McPherson', that he was not unduly concerned about a three corner contest and that he

would consider the points I raised".

One may note this evidence also -

Q. . .. However, when you express

opinions about, or upon the subject of a member developing an identity with an electorate name, that is your considered opinion having regard to your parliamentary experience, and your experience as a minister,

and your experience in relation to these redistributions? A. That is correct, your Honour.

Q. Not to mention the observation

of many elections? A. I am sure that one does over a

long period - and I think it is

fair to say that in the early

stages perhaps one isn't as well known as he becomes well known with the passing of the years. Q. And that association, as I

understand you, will assist him either to retain votes at any

election or to even gain them.

208

A. I am sure he develops a

reputation which has some value. Q. But it would assist him to

gain or retain votes on reputation or association or identity? A. I am certain of that.

These answers may assist in the evaluation of what he said earlier

Q. At the time of this conversation

and for some time previously, did you hold the . view that a

Federal Member of Parliament, in general, if he is in his seat

for a substantial length of time, tends to develop a useful connection with the electorate name? A. I think the people within an

electorate associate a personality with it in the terms of a member. Q. That is a matter of some

significance from the viewpoint of a sitting member? A. I think so, yes.

it may well help to gain or ·

regain votes? A. I think so, yes.

He thought that in the light of this belief,

209

more than likely he mentioned to the Honourable Eric Robinson, in his telephone conversation (supra page 20 71 the point that the Gold Coast area should in his view ·j

retain the name "McPherson" because of the fact that a member develops an identity with his electoral name. The Honourable Eric Robinson's evidence corroborates this (page 212).

The Honourable Eric Robinson, M.P.

Already I have quoted his conversation with Sir Alan Hulme and his reference to it as to a meeting

of the Re-distribution Committee of the Liberal Party and to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers.

He has referred to voting statistics in the 1977 State elections, Southport and Surfers Paradise first preferences only, which was Exhibit AAK. I quote that Exhibit below -

12 November 1977 State Election Results in

Three-Cornered Contest in McPherson Federal Division:

Seat of Southport Liberal (White) National

(RIX)

A.L.P. (Carter) Independent (Abraham-Steer)

First Preference Votes: 4738

Seat of Surfers Paradise

Liberal National (Bishop) (Small)

First Preference Votes: 3482 5216

5022

A.L.P. (Button)

2960

3967

Aust. Democrat (Holland)

1643

150

Progress Party (Wright)

164

Though the National Party candidates received more primary votes than did the Liberal candidates,

210

nevertheless the latter were elected on Australian Labor Party preferences. It was suggested to . him that he could not say, in the event of a

three-cornered contest in the Federal sphere, the prospects of success for the National Party candidates would be minimal. He would not agree that the results of this voting in the State ·

election were a guide to what might happen in a Federal election. He maintained his point of view by reference to the local situation he described existing in Surfers Paradise and Southport. He

argued that from these local differences one could not reason as to what his own chances in a Federal

election might be expected to be in a three-cornered contest. His view was that any fear of a

three-cornered contest was almost in the "fictional class".

Sir Alan Hulme attributed to the Honourable Eric Robinson a statement that he expressed a preference that the Eastern electorate had been called McPherson rather than Gold Coast (Exhibit AAP). The Honourable Eric Robinson does not remember making

a comment as to preference; but does not deny it.

Accordingly I accept the evidence of Sir Alan Hulme as giving some indication of what was the Honourable Eric Robinson's state of mind. The Honourable Eric Robinson further agrees that he recalls (perhaps on

more than one occasion) using the words to the effect of evidence given by Mr. Cameron i.e. on 26 August 1977 to the Redistribution Committee of the Liberal Party (quoted at pp.182/3). I have referred

to this agreed version when discussing Mr. Cameron's evidence.

211

The Honourable Eric Robinson also reported Sir Alan Hulme's conversation to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers - whether before or after the meeting of the Re-distribution Committee of the Liberal Party he could not say. In addition, his

evidence is that he gave as a reason why Sir Alan

Hulme suggested there should be a change -

" because members have an

identity with an electoral name".

He said that he did not fear and he did not

think anybody feared three-cornered contests. He gave this further evidence -

Q. Would it be fair to say that

you had the impression that there might be some people in the party, not including yourself, who thought that

this was perhaps

something that ought to be "nipped in the bud"? A. I think there were some people

in the party who wanted to avoid any possibility of any three-cornered contests, not because of the impact on the Gold Coast, but the flow-on impact that might have, if it

occurred; and I mean in terms

of relationship between the parties.

(The "proposal" referred to in that question was the

212

Distribution Commissioners' proposal that the new Electoral Division be named "Gold Coast").

He explained why he had passed Sir Alan Hulme's

comment on to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers

"I asked Senator Withers to comment for this reason that Sir Alan Hulme who had been a Party President and an organizational man for quite some

years - and a Liberal man of great

seniority in not only the Parliamentary sense but also in the organizational sense - had raised it with him and he recognized

the experience the Party had long before I was deeply involved in it"

"I raised it with Senator Withers to get the view of another colleague who happened like me to have been the State President".

He expressed the view that the name of a

Division being varied would not affect an election or the number of votes a person may receive. His

evidence further was -

Q. Mr. Robinson, I suppose by and

large if politicians concern themselves with something it must mean that it has got some

political significance?

213

A. That may not be - yes.

Q. That may not be right?

A. Yes. Of course it is.

Q. Perhaps we are at cross-purposes, but when I refer to things

having political significance I mean to include in that

reference things being believed by some politicians to have political significance even though you may not share that view? A. Well, the answer to your question

is, of course, yes.

Q. Bearing that in mind, it would

be correct to say, would it not,

that in the eyes or in the belief

of some politicians expressed from time to time, names of electorates can have political significance? A. In the minds of some politicians,

yes.

Q. And they say so from time to time,

do they not? A. Yes.

Q. May I suggest as one possible

example, not necessarily a belief shared by you, but a belief

professed by some politicians, that it could be an advantage politically to a sitting member where there has been an alteration of the boundaries of his electorate to retain the name of his electorate?

214

A. Yes.

Q. Whilst I appreciate that that

is not a view that you would

necessarily subscribe to Q. Do you subscribe to that view?

A. No. I thought I had clearly

indicated I do not subscribe to that view.

Q. But that is a view that you are

aware of is held and expressed by some politicians? A. Yes.

Q. And when politicians express that view, included in the proposition that they are expressing is that the sitting

member is likely to get more votes than he might otherwise get by reason of the retention of that name? That is involved

in the proposition, isn't it? A. Well, nobody has ever discussed

this with me, so you are asking

me to try and gauge what is in

somebody else's mind. Nobody has ever had a discussion with me about the relevance of this,

but if you are saying to me,

"Could that be an element in their thinking?", the answer would have to be, "Yes, it would

be".

Q. The attachment that some

politicians have expressed in the past to the retention of a

name for an electorate appears to be more than a

mere sentimental attachment, doesn't it? It has a certain practical significance? A. Yes.

Q. So that the view has been

expressed by politicians in the past that the naming of

electorates can be a matter which affects the number of votes that a candidate might get at an election? A. - Well, the only two occasions

on which this matter has been brought to my attention was when Sir Alan Hulme told me about Mr. Casey's seat. That is the first example I can give

you. I don't know how many

years ago that was. And the

second occasion was obviously from public statements and witnesses in this Royal Commission, so it is not a

matter that has ever been discussed very much or opinions expressed about it very much. Q. But you have been present on

other occasions, not necessarily only in this Royal Commission, where you have heard Members of Parliament express the view that

the naming of electorates can be

216

of political significance? A. No, I haven't.

Q. Have you ever heard the view

expressed that the naming of electorates can be political dynamite? A. No.

There also appeared this evidence -

Q. Coming back to the position as

it stood in September 1977, regardless of whether or not you agree with it there was

a view held by some in political circles that the electoral support which the National Party enjoyed at the State level in

your area might reflect itself in ways adverse to you in the

federal sphere? A. Yes.

He makes further reference to views which are

held thus -Q. I think you made it clear to us,

Mr. Robinson, that you did not share the fear of a three-cornered contest in 1977. You have made that plain? A. Yes.

Q. But you have also accepted, have

you not, that it was a fear, with

whatever degree of seriousness, that was entertaine4 in some quarters?

217

A. A very limited area of fear.

Q. Leaving aside any quantitative descriptions of it, it was a fear that was entertained in some quarters? A. Again I do not know whether

your choice of words, "fear" -"prospect", I think, is perhaps a better word. The prospect of

it was entertained, yes. Q. Some in Liberal Party

circles thought, or said they thought, it was a possibility? A. Yes, that is correct .

. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q. Some people in Liberal Party

circles (and I understand you do not agree with them) said that they thought that the name that the Distribution Commissioners had tentatively proposed for the new electoral

divisions might to some extent increase or encourage that possibility? A. Yes, yes.

Q. And if a person entertained a

view to that effect, or if even

though he did not entertain it he thought that the fact that

somebody else entertained it ought to be taken into account, then he might have a motive for

taking steps to persuade the Distribution Commissioners, or have them persuaded, to alter

218

their proposals with respect to names, might he not? A. Well, the answer to that

question is, yes: but,

Mr. Gleeson, the subject of three-cornered contests was never raised between Senator Withers and myself. That was

never alluded to or considered. So the answer to the question is, yes, but not in practical

terms.

As to his interpretation of Sir Alan Hulme's remarks

he gave this evidence -

Q. Now, as I understand you, there

seems to be no doubt that Sir

Alan Hulme thought the member develops an identity with an electorate name? A. Yes.

Q. As I interpret it, that means

this, that if we are voting in

a particular electorate, which we shall call the Gold Coast, people automatically think, so the argument runs, "The

electorate of Gold Coast - oh, we vote for Mr. Robinson"?

A. Yes.

219

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers

His evidence in chief was given in a Statement which is Exhibit Q. He gave evidence on 22 May and

6 and 7 June 1978. I am concerned to discuss his

evidence at this point only so far as it refers to

or sets out his views of the political significance, if any, of a name of a Member being associated with that of an Electoral Division. Before quoting him I note that he would have assumed, at or about

September 1977, that the Honourable Eric Robinson would opt for being the candidate for the most easterly portion of the old Electoral Division, i.e. that which was provisionally called "Gold Coast" and later "McPherson".

His evidence includes the following -

Q. Senator, did it occur to you

that what was being done or proposed in relation to the name of "Gold Coast" might have any political significance at all? A. None at all. I couldn't see how

it could.

He said that it never occurred to him that there was

any political significance whether this electorate was named "Gold Coast" or "McPherson".

And later -

Q. Can I just ask these questions,

Senator? First of all, is there

220

some advantage, whether in the mind of electors or interested people or persons who are going to be voters, to get this question of names

straightened out at the earliest possible moment? That is, let us assume you have got an inappropriate name recommended as at 26 September when the report of the commissioners

in its final form is submitted.

Supposing then that has to go to

Parliament and Parliament then is dealing with the redistribution. Is there some advantage to be achieved by getting that little matter corrected before it goes to

Parliament so people may not be confused, or is that quite unimportant? · A. I think it is of some importance,

sir, because one of the important problems with any redistributions, people are shifted.

And later -Q. Do the names of electoral Divisions

ever have political significance? A. No. I can't see why they should.

I am sorry to take so long. I was

trying to think of one that might.

I just can't think of one .

.. . There cannot be any political

significance in the name of an electoral Division.

221

And later -

Q. Has it ever come to your attention

that in political circles some people have expressed the view that it can be an advantage to a member

to have the name with which he has

been associated retained as the name of his electorate? A. No, but I do know amongst some of

my Reps. colleagues, they get an

attachment to the name. They become identified as the Member for X.

I don't think it had any political

significance THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. Can you tell me what you mean when

you say, "I don't think it has any

political implication"? A. I cannot see whether it affects

voter when he goes along.

[The electors] know who the contenders are for Prime Minister and they know who the other main contenders are. Some candidates are lucky in that they are able to

get identification through a campaign with posters, gimmicks, that sort of thing, and it sort

of identifies the candidate. But the actual electorate in which one lives, I think, is an irrelevance

222

really to the elector, except he feels after a while - well, some

know they are in that division, some don't. MR. GLEESON:

Q. Is it your evidence that you are

not aware of any circumstances in which the name of an electorate could have any political significance? A. Yes, that would be. I cannot

conceive how it might help or hinder any candidate from any party running for any seat. THE COMMISSIONER:

Q. To get votes?

A. To get votes.

Q. Even if he is the sitting member?

A. Even if he is the which member?

Q. The sitting member? A. The sitting member.

Q. Isn't that a different situation?

You see, you have got persons putting up for the first time or

the second time, or if you like,

for a discredited party or a currently discredited party. What about the sitting member? Doesn't it have some significance

for him in the sense of gaining

votes or assisting him to retain votes that he otherwise may not have got? A. No, I don't think so. I think

223

they identify with the local member as a person rather than as the member for that particular name, but being a sitting member

is an advantage. I should rephrase

that. It is alleged that the

sitting member has an advantage because he ought to be better known due to his work in the electorate

in the preceding number of years. He has had a large number of contacts

and people have been able to assess him, but, as has been said, a lot

of sitting members lose their seats. I don't know where the truth in that

lies.

I ,I Finally on this question of political significance , I quote what appeared in Mr. Cameron's Statement, Exhibit Gl, to which I have referred earlier at pp.182( as to what happened in the meeting of the Re-distribution Committee of the Liberal Party. For ease of understanding, I set out the whole quote -"At that meeting Mr. Robinson said: 'Sir Alan Hulme has rung me and said we had better get the name of "McPherson" back on the "Gold Coast" seat because otherwise there might be a three-cornered contest'. After lengthy discussion the Committee decided to recommend to the Parliament that "Gold Coast" become " McPhers on" 224

and "McPherson" become "Fadden". This decision was made on the political implications of allowing the name "Gold Coast" to remain".

The members of the Committee were evidently of the view that the name "McPherson" had political significance. The decision taken was apparently prompted at least in part by a statement relayed

from Sir Alan Hulme, adverting to the possibility of a three-cornered contest unless the change was made.

***

225

Finding as to Political Significance of Name:

From a consideration of all this evidence I accept that which is supported by every witness quoted, save one, albeit in varying degrees, that there is a possible advantage to a sitting Member and his Party for him to stand for an electorate

with whose name he is identified.

Further there is evidence which I accept that in Queensland and in particular in the old area of "McPherson", there was an element in the relations between the coalition parties which firmed the ground for a view, already held by some members of

the Liberal Party, that a change in the name of the

Honourable Eric Robinson's electorate would be politically undesirable.

Not everybody whose evidence in this inquiry dealt with this topic agrees with every aspect of what I have found. The Honourable Eric Robinson thought a three-cornered contest was extremely unlikely. Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers rejected the notion that the name had any political significance in this area of the discussion.

However, allowing for differences in the degree of conviction or point of view, my view is further that the existence of such a body of opinion, whether one agreed with the opinion or not, is well established and would not likely be overlooked by any practising politician concerned for the continued success of his

Party in any forthcoming election and the maintenance of good relations within the coalition.

226

II

History of Events dealing with and Conversations leading to the Change of Name from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson":

I now refer to conversations which I accept as having taken place in the months of August and September 1977 and to the action of the Distribution Commissioners which followed. The conversations and

the action are set out below in the order they

occurred.

18 June 1977

30 June 1977

1 July 1977

By this date the Commissioners had had numbers of meetings; they were referring to the easterly Electorate as

"McPherson" and to the western as "New South" (Exhibit AS, Annexure 4).

By this date the Commissioners referred in deliberations to the eastern Division as "Gold Coast", and to the western

Division as "South Rural" (Exhibit AS, Annexure 4).

By this date the Commissioners

were referring to the eastern Electorate as before; but had begun to refer to the western

Electorate as "McPherson"

227

10 August 1977 The Distribution Commissioners

published a Map of Proposed Divisions with the name "Gold Coast" (eastern Electorate) and "McPherson" (western Electorate) thereon.

After 16 August 1977 Sir Alan Hulme to the Honourable Eric Robinson: 'You should seek in an objection to alter the

name from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson" and the Commissioners should find another name for the western electorate for which "Gold Coast" is not appropriate. If

in fact the Commissioners did not change it, then it could be

done by the parliament on the recommendation of the Government per the medium of the resolution of the House'. There followed a reference to Lord Casey ...

Then - 'If the names are

changed and Gold Coast becomes McPherson you would avoid the National Country Party nominating a candidate for the

seat'.

Further statements were attributed to Sir Alan Hulme, which the Honourable Eric Robinson paraphrased or at least quoted in narrative form in evidence. I

refer to them later.

228

On or before

26 August 1977 The Honourable Eric Robinson's statement at or after a meeting of the Re-distribution Committee

of the Liberal Party quoted by Mr. Cameron (supra page 'Sir Alan Hulme has rung me and said we had better get the name

of "McPherson" back on the "Gold Coast" seat because otherwise there might be a three-cornered contest'. The Honourable Eric Robinson's

comment included -'The matter will be handled in Canberra' . The Honourable Eric Robinson

said this as it was his

(Robinson's) view that if the Government or Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers ( the Minister responsible for

the re-distribution) considered that the name " Gold Coast" was not suitable, it would be changed b y the Cabinet and/or

the Parliament. Mr. Cameron's evidence, (unchallenged on this point), was that the

Re- distribution Committee at i ts me eting of 26 Au gus t 1977

decide d to r e com mend to the Parliame nt that "Gold Coas t" be c am e c Ph e r s on" a n d " ivlc Ph e r s on 1 1

be c ame " Fa dden" - a de ci s ion

mad e on t h e " ... po litical

22 9

About 31 August 19 77

implications of allowing the name 'Gold Coast' to remain".

The inquiry of Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers to the Honourable Eric Robinson - 'How are the re-distribution proposals being accepted in Queensland'?

[Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers agrees that he said words 'like that to Mr. Robinson', but after the final maps came out; he cannot deny that he may have said so before his conversations with Mr. Pearson].

The Honourable Eric Robinson's reply - 'They seem alright! Oh,

by the way Alan Hulme has spoken to me and has expressed the view that the name of the seat based

on the Gold Coast area should be

McPherson' .

He sa1d additionally to Senator

the Right Honourable R.G. Withers ­ 'Because members have an identity with an electorate name'.

The Honourable Eric Robinson gave further versions of or additions to what he told Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers, viz. -

Sir Alan Hulme did not like the names

230

Sir Alan Hulme made the point that ·you get an identity with an electorate

Sir Alan Hulme ... made the point

it would be better if my - or the

electorate of the reduced area of the electorate did not have a name change.

That he (i.e. Sir Alan Hulme) believed it desirable for a Member to keep the same name for his electorate.

The Honourable Eric Robinson expressed his concern over the name "Gold Coast" (i.e. in the next re-distribution) we could be in a situation where you

would have the "Gold Coast" area with more than one seat and that was going to happen'.

Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers said words to the effect -

"I do not like the idea of geographical

names''.

The Honourable Eric Robinson replied to the effect that he did not want to be associated with any

proposal to or involved in any change of name.

15 September 1977 On or about this date Senator

the Right Honourable R.G. Withers telephoned Mr. Pearson, discussing, inter alia, the names of the proposed Divisions.

231

Mr. Pearson agrees the conversation took place (though he would have said at an earlier date) as appears from his evidence quoted below -

"On or about the 13 September I had

conversations with the Minister, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers. He phoned me and said amongst other things: 'I don't think much of the name of Gold Coast proposed by the Queensland Commissioners.

I don't think the House will have a

bar of it. No member wants to be

called the Member for the Gold It seems to me that if the Queensland

Commissioners had taken Fox Committee's report into account then they would have called the new Division McPherson. If they were looking for any other name then Fadden would be pretty acceptable. It is a better name than

Gold Coast. Do you think it would be

okay to point this out to the

Commissioners'. I said: I'd have no

trouble at all".

(The Senator agrees in effect that he said to Mr. Pearson these things or words to that effect or most likely did).

"I then referred to my copy of the

Commonwealth Electoral Act and said: 'Section 22 of the Act says that you

cannot influence a Commissioner in the

232

performance of his duties under the Act. The Commissioner's duties are only concerned with boundaries. They give names for identification

by custom. Parliament decides the names. So I've no worries. I know

I am certain it would be quite

proper to ring Frank Coleman. I

would be surprised, in fact, if he

does know about the Fox Report because he wasn't on any previous re-distribution'. The Minister then said: 'I wouldn't like him to think there was any pressure

to do this'. I said: 'I won't even

mention your name, I will just tell him that this Gold Coast name has been brought to my attention, tell him about the Fox Report and then it is a matter

for him and the Commissioners'".

15 September 1977 On this day Mr. Pearson

telephoned Mr. Coleman.

His evidence about the conversation was -

"I said to Mr. Coleman: 'Frank, a

point has been raised about the name of Gold Coast which you have for one

of your divisions. It has been

suggested that it's not likely to get through Parliament because no member is going to want to be the Member for

the Gold Coast - sun, sand and the

rest. Did you take into account the

233

recommendations of the Fox Report of 1969? I think if those recommendations were taken into account you would have called the division McPherson and if you were looking for a satisfactory name for the other division, it has been suggested to me that Fadden would have a general acceptability in Queensland'. Mr. Coleman said to me: 'We didn't

consider the report when we were suggesting names'. I said: 'Well, do

you think you might have a look at the

report and bring it to the Commission's notice. There is no problem as far as

I can see because this is a matter of

names and not boundaries, otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you about this'. Mr. Coleman then said: 'I have no

problem on that. As you say, it is a

suggestion on names. But anyway, I will just raise it with the other

Commissioners'. The conversation may have then dealt with other matters. I do not recall. I cannot remember whether Mr. Coleman specifically stated he had

forgotten about the report or that he did not know about the report".

15 September 1977 On the same or possibly the

day following his first conversation, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers again telephoned Mr. Pearson.

Mr. Pearson's version of the ensuing conversation is

234

"On or about the next day the Minister spoke to me again and said: 'Did I

make myself clear when I said that Fadden was a better name than Gold Coast? Of course, I wasn't suggesting that Fadden should be the name of that

Division'. I said: 'I am sure that's

as I saw it. I am sure that's what I

mentioned to Frank but I will check with him and make sure'".

(Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers cannot recall this conversation, said he would not deny it if Mr. Pearson said it occurred).

16 September 19 77 Mr. Pearson telephoned Mr. Coleman again.

He said

"On or about the following day, I had

another conversation with Mr. Coleman dealing with the subject matter dealt with above and during that conversation I said: 'Was I clear on that question

of names? It is Gold Coast which

should disappear and become McPherson. Fadden would be a good name to use but

not of course in place of Gold Coast'.

Mr. Coleman said: perfectly clear'". 'Oh, yes, it was

(It should be interpolated that Mr. Coleman, following this conversation made a note in his diary in which he recorded that which was "perfectly clear" as follows {Exhibit AW) -

235

24 57 1178- 9

Proposed G. Coast

McPherson

16 September 1977

Called McPherson Fadden

Mr. Coleman read the Fox Report called a meeting of the Distribution Commissioners and pointed out in effect what was

an error in naming. He

mentioned the Fox Report or a convention or both and suggested the new names. On the basis

that the matter of names was not really their task, the change of names was agreed to thereupon by the Distribution Commissioners

Some time after this date Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers told the Honourable Eric Robinson that he had spoken to the Chief Electoral Officer (Mr. Pearson) expressing the view that it would be better if a name were not used to

describe the new electorate based on the Gold Coast.

26 September 1977

17 October 1977

The Distribution Commissioners signed their Final Report (Exhibit BlS). The easterly Electoral Division now had the name "McPherson" attached to it and the new western Electoral Division "Fadden".

Mr. Pearson forwarded the Report to Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers.

236

18 October 1977 The Report was tabled in

Parliament.

The Fox Report (Exhibit Bl6)

Since it was put to the Distribution Commissioners that their original proposals as to names were inconsistent with the recommendations as to naming of Electoral Divisions made in the Fox

Report, two points should be noted -1. The Report itself is expressed in very

general and qualified terms and it is not easy to identify with any confidence the alleged inconsistency. Indeed some witnesses, especially Mr. Coleman,

experienced considerable discomfiture when pressed to do so.

2. The alternative proposal which was put to and accepted by the Distribution Commissioners was itself inconsistent with at least one of the recommendations

in that Report.

Summary of Events Leading to Change of Name

1. The Honourable Eric Robinson had in

1972 won the seat of McPherson from the National Party candidate Mr. Richter. He had since held the seat.

2. There were known to be members (even if

only a minority) of the National Party who wanted to have a National Party candidate opposing even the sitting Liberal member in any election for the seat of McPherson.

237

3. Some members of the Liberal Party were

concerned that there could be a three-cornered contest in an election for the seat of McPherson even though they knew the National Party was generally opposed to three-cornered contests.

4. The concern referred to in 3 above had

increased in 1977 because of three-cornered contests between the Liberal and National Parties for the State seats of Southport and Surfers Paradise which the Liberal Party had won but with the aid of preferences of those who voted for the Australian Labor Party.

5. The possibility of being such a

three-cornered contest was in the minds of some persons increased, when in the proposals published by the Distribution Commissioners on 10 August 1977 for distribution of the seat of McPherson, a new eastern Electoral Division was carved out of the old McPherson and to it tentatively attached the name "Gold Coast". One basis of that possibility was the view that the seat would thus be

a "new seat" and a ground on which the

sitting Member might claim immunity from a three-cornered contest would be lost.

6. The loss of the name McPherson from what

was by common consent to be the Electoral

238

Division for which the sitting Member for the old seat of McPherson would seek re-election meant that -(i) there was a "new" seat;

(ii) hence there was no sitting

Member;

(iii) the National Party was not

inhibited by convention from entering a candidate; - or so 'the argument would run.

7. After the publication of the proposals of

10 August 1977 viz. on 26 August 1977 at a

meeting of the Re-distribution Committee of the Liberal Party (at which the Honourable Eric Robinson was present and relayed Sir Alan Hulme's opinion as to

changing the name "Gold Coast" back to "McPherson") that Committee decided to · recommend to the Parliament that "Gold Coast" become "McPherson" and "McPherson" be called "Fadden".

8. Mr. Cameron, who attended the meeting, in

his Statement, Exhibit Gl, states that this was done because of the political implications of allowing the name "Gold Coast" to remain.

9. In or about early September 1977 Senator

the Right Honourable R.G. Withers, who himself said to the Honourable Eric Robinson that 'he did not like "Gold Coast" as a name', was told that Sir Alan

Hulme thought it should be changed back

2 39

to "McPherson".

10. Following these events and conversations, Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers, in his communication with Mr. Pearson, as he agreed, set about what was an attempt to change

the proposed name of this Electoral Division without further consulting the Honourable Eric Robinson. In doing so, he disregarded established regular and usually employed procedures. His action brought about the change of name in the Final Report.

It is to be noted that the usual procedure for

procuring a change of names applied by Distribution Commissioners to proposed new electoral Divisions was to raise the matter in Parliament. This had

been done previously on many occasions. The procedure adopted in the present case was, according to the evidence, unique.

It is further to be noted that the Liberal

Party's formal Submission to the Distribution Commissioners, made through the regular statutory channels, had not led them to apply the name "McPherson" to the relevant Division.

Conclusion

After a consideration of the whole of the evidence I am satisfied that Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers -(a) was aware that there would or

could be a political disadvantage if "Gold Coast" instead of "McPherson"

240

appeared in the Report of the Distribution Commissioners for the State of Queensland as the name of the electorate to which

the Honourable Eric Robinson might be expected to seek election;

(b) was aware there was or might be

some political advantage in having the name "McPherson" for the electorate to which the Honourable Eric Robinson might be expected to

seek election;

(c) being lately reminded of the views

of Sir Alan Hulme, a distinguished member of the Liberal Party in Queensland, that the name of the Honourable Eric Robinson's

electorate should be altered from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson"; and

to avoid that disadvantage and

to secure that advantage; and

in circumstances where -

(i) Mr. Pearson and the

Distribution Commissioners were not made aware of the

political purpose to be served by the change of name from "Gold Coast" to "McPherson";

241

(ii) the Chairman of and the

Distribution Commissioners were not made aware of the identity of the person who initiated the suggestion for the said change of name; on 15 September 1977 or thereabouts used his relationship as Minister with the Chief Australian Electoral Officer, Mr. Pearson, and without recourse to procedures laid down in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and after the expiry of the time for

such procedures, to arrange a change of the name "Gold Coast" so that the

name "McPherson" would appear in the Distribution Commissioners' final Report.

I am further satisfied that neither Mr. Pearson nor any of the Distribution Commissioners appreciated political significance in what was proposed to

them. I consider that Mr. Pearson accepted what Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers said to him at face value and the Distribution Commissioners for their part accepted uncritically the proposition that all they were being asked to do was to rectify

an error on their part.

I am satisfied that the Honourable Eric Robinson did not request Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers to act as he did and there is no evidence

sufficient to support a finding that the Honourable Eric Robinson even knew that Senator Withers intended to approach Mr. Pearson.

242

FINDING AS TO IMPROPRIETY

On all the evidence before me, I FIND -

The action of Senator the Right Honourable R.G. Withers constitutes impropriety within the meaning of the Letters Patent dated 30 May 1978. Senator Withers used his position to further a pblitical

purpose by an approach (not open to members of the public) to the Distribution Commissioners. That purpose was not made known to them, and it was

foreign to the matters which were proper for their consideration. Had the Commissioners been made aware of what was behind the approach, they would not have entertained it. However, believing they were being invited merely to correct an error on

their part, they went along with the suggestion which was put to them. Whilst Senator Withers did not seek to influence, or influence, the Commissioners in any way about how they should

perform their duties of distribution of the Electoral Divisions in Queensland, he did seek to influence them, and he did in fact influence them, through an intermediary, as to something which they

proposed to say in their Report, that is to say, the

names which they tentatively attached to two Electoral Divisions. What he did, having regard to the purpose with which he did it, in my judgment constitutes impropriety.

***

243

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 30 MAY 1978

I have been required to inquire into and report upon whether, in the course of the re-distribution in 1977 of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions for the election of Members of the House of Representatives (including the change of the name of a proposed Division from "Gold Coast" to

"McPherson) in so far as the re-distribution affected that part of the State of Queensland that, prior to the re-distribution, comprised the Division of McPherson, any breach of a law of the Commonwealth or any impropriety occurred by reason of -

(a) anything said or action taken by or

on behalf of any person; (b) any action taken by the Distribution Commissioners or any of them as a result of anything said or action

taken by or on behalf of any person; or

(c) any communication by the Distribution Commissioners to any person.

Upon a consideration of all the evidence, I REPORT -

1. There occurred no such breach of a law

of the Commonwealth.

2. There was impropriety on the part of

the Right Honourable R.G.

Withers in terms of my Finding at page 243.

3. There was no other impropriety.

244

LETTERS PATENT SIGNED 10 MAY 1978

These Letters Patent seek an inquiry and report as to whether on 26 July 1977 at Beaudesert in the

State of Queensland the Honourable Eric Robinson made any statement (and if so what statement or statements) concerning the likely decisions of the Commonwealth Government in relation to the mining of uranium in Australia.

The occasion at Beaudesert was a luncheon at the "Logart and Albert" Hotel where the Honourable Eric Robinson gave a short talk. Already I have

made extensive reference to the evidence of that event. There is a degree of difficulty in deciding what was said by persons on an occasion where little or no relevant record was made or preserved, and no one was asked to recall or remember what transpired until some six months had passed.

One statement was made by the Honourable Eric Robinson in response to a question asked by Mr. Joyce, who thereupon wrote it in his notebook, Exhibit AG. Mr. Joyce quotes his words -

"When you have a strong export agreement with minerals, uranium must be used as a lever to

encourage exports of primary produce".

I accept this as an accurate record of what was said;

but unfortunately (for my present task) I do not consider it to be a statement as to the "likely

decisions of the Commonwealth Government in relation to the mining of uranium".

246

The inquiry is not easier where, as here, there is to be considered the evidence of the twelve persons present whose versions do not agree. Such persons are of varying intelligence and power

of concentration and some were more interested in the subject than others.

Moreover some of the witnesses discussed and compared recollections of what they thought they heard and reached a measure of agreement so that one is concerned that their evidence is related more

to their agreement than to what separately and unassisted they would have been able to recall. In this regard I refer inter alia to Statutory Declarations, Exhibits G4 and GS (see earlier

references e.g. at pages 81/84, 94/97, 101/111, 115/117).

Already I have discussed these witnesses individually whilst considering other aspects of this inquiry. Of the eleven persons at the

luncheon (i.e. excluding the Honourable Eric Robinson) some claim that he gave advice as to the

purchase of shares. Mrs. Hodgson's evidence is that she believed the Honourable Eric Robinson said -"Cabinet will bring down a favourable decision on the mining of uranium and

it might be a good idea to buy uranium

shares".

Mrs. Rostedt and Mrs. Blunck swore Statutory Declarations, Exhibit G4 and Exhibit GS, on 12 April 1978 in which they claim that the Honourable Eric Robinson in effect stated that it would be a good

time to buy uranium shares or shares in uranium

24 7

companies. Their evidence in chief, as I have earlier noted, was in the form of a Statement tendered as an Exhibit. Mrs. Rostedt stated (Exhibit Y) these were the words used by the Honourable Eric Robinson -

ttNow is the time to. buy uranium

shares as the government is going to bring down a favourable decision in about three week's time".

Mrs. Blunck, in her Statement (Exhibit AA), has this version of the Honourable Eric Robinson's words -

"Now could be a good time to buy

shares in uranium".

The evidence of others who were present may shortly be stated as follows. Mr. James, who was the

chairman at the luncheon gave evidence which I quote -

Q. On the subject of uranium, let

me ask you, did Mr. Robinson say

anything the substance of which you took to be the recommending of purchase of shares in uranium, or that it was a good time to buy

shares in uranium? A. No sir.

Q. Are you sure he did not say that?

A. Quite sure, sir.

Q. You are quite sure?

A. Yes.

248

Q. It is not a question of

failing to remember what he said, that you are sure he

did not say anything like that? A. No sir, I'm sure he didn't.

Q. Do you remember if he said

anything, the substance of which would be - what would

A.

Q. A.

be the likely decisions of the government in relation to uranium, or might be the likely decisions? No, I don't remember him using

those words at all, sir.

You do not? No sir.

Mrs. James said -

"I don't remember him mentioning uranium at all".

Earlier I have quoted words Mr. Joyce gave in evidence as to the use of uranium as a lever;

other than these words which he wrote in his notebook, Exhibit AG. He could recall nothing else on the subject.

Mrs. Joyce in her Statement, Exhibit AH, said that the Honourable Eric Robinson's words were -"Now would be a good time to invest

in mining shares".

249

She could not recall him distinguishing between mining and other forms of shares; though she remembered him "speaking about 1.:1ranium as a trade lever".

Mr. Trier, in Exhibit AC, correctly quotes as having been said, the words spoken to Mr. Joyce (which are set out on page 246) . in answer to that

gentleman's question. He says further -

"During ·the course of his talk Mr. Robinson made reference to uranium. I am unable to

recollect what Mr. Robinson said in respect of uranium; however as a result of Mr. Robinson's comments on uranium I gained the impression that the mining and export of uranium would go ahead".

Mrs. Trier gave no evidence at all upon the subject of uranium.

Mr. Teulan had business interests in southern Queensland and political ambitions. I have referred to these in more detail earlier (e.g. at page 137).

In his Statement, Exhibit AK, he wrote -

"I recall ... Mrs. Rostedt asked

a question concerning uranium. However I neither recall the substance of the question ... nor

the answer ... given. I recall

thinking a question on uranium ...

unusual coming from a country district.

250

I certainly do not recall the

Minister stating that it was a good time to buy uranium shares. In fact had he made such a

comment I would have been more likely to have paid attention to it because of my business background".

Later he said the question (i.e. Mrs. Rostedt's question) might have been a comment, and that although he could not deny that the Minister stated it was a good time to buy uranium shares, he did not

hear him say that.

Mrs. Tuffs, a field officer in the Liberal Party gave evidence in chief in the form of a

Statement, Exhibit AL, including these words about uranium -

"I do not specifically recall the subject of uranium being mentioned except in the general context of an export for Australia".

She was questioned about uranium -

Q. Is it your recollection that

the Minister at this luncheon said anything that struck you as being out of the ordinary? A. Not one thing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

Q. If he had issued at this

gathering advice to the people present to invest in uranium

251

shares would that have been to you out of the ordinary?

A. Very much out of the ordinary.

Q. Was any such advice given?

.A. Not to my knowledge.

. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ .

And later -

"There was mention of uranium but just how long the mention on

I do not know.

I recall it just was mentioned as - in relation to exports for

Australia".

The evidence of the Honourable Eric Robinson in his Statement, Exhibit AAJ, was -

"The Government will be making a decision about the mining and export of uranium early in the Budget session which commences in

three weeks' time. We announced our safeguards policy in May; the Prime Minister has been in Europe discussing matters relating to energy; we have received the latest Fox Report (meaning the report of Mr. Justice Fox) and if

we are satisfied that all the

interests requiring protection can be protected', (meaning such interests as those of the aborigines, environmental

252

protection and health), 'I would expect the Government to authorise the mining and export of uranium'.

I'n reaching my decision I feel obliged also to take into account the probabilities of what might be likely to have been said by a Minister of the

Crown to a small group some of whom were not previously known to him or hardly known to him.

Naturally enough the Honourable Eric Robinson has difficulty in remembering precisely what he did say at the luncheon but emphatically denies giving advice to buy uranium or mining shares. I am far

from satisfied on the evidence that he said anything upon the subject of buying uranium or mining shares. I would not be prepared to find that he made such a

statement.

***

253

FINDING AS TO STATEMENTS MADE BY THE HONOURABLE ERIC ROBINSON

On all the evidence before me, I FIND -

On 26 July 1977 at Beaudesert in the State of

Queensland, the Honourable Eric Robinson did make a statement concerning the likely decisions of the Commonwealth Government in relation to the mining of uranium in Australia, to the following effect -

"The Government will be making a decision about mining and export of uranium early in the Budget session which commences in about three weeks time. If the

Government is satisfied that all interests requiring protection can be protected I would expect the Government to authorise mining and export of uranium".

***

254

REPORT PURSUANT TO LETTERS PATENT OF 10 MAY 1978

I have inquired into the matter in these Letters

Patent and on the evidence before me I REPORT -

On 26 July 1977 at Beaudesert in

the State of Queensland the Honourable Eric Robinson made a statement concerning the likely decisions of the Commonwealth

Government in relation to the mining of uranium in Australia to the following effect -

"The Government will be making a decision about mining and export of uranium early in the Budget session which commences in about

three weeks time. If the Government is satisfied that all interests requiring protection can be protected I would expect the Government to

authorise mining and export of uranium".

***

255

\

\

COSTS

Counsel for the Honourable Eric Robinson has drawn my attention to that part of the Letters Patent of 24 April 1978 which direct that I should / make such recommendations as I consider desirable

as a result of this inquiry. He submits that

thereby I am empowered to make a recommendation as to costs, and that should the Honourable Eric Robinson be "cleared of the taint that people have sought to put on his name'', I ought recommend that his legal costs should be paid.

My view is that the "recommendation" referred

to was not intended to include the subject of costs and does not on a fair reading of the Letters

Patent do so. I do not propose _in this Report to

deal by recommendation with matters other than those which are raised in the Letters Patent. Those in

authority are well able to treat Counsel's application as they choose in the light of my findings.

***

256

APPENDICES

LIST OF AUTHORITIES

1. Per Barwick C.J., in Spratt v. Hermes (1965) 114 C.L.R. 266, at p.247 attributing that statement to Sir Owen Dixon.

2. King v. The Queen (1969) 1 A.C. 304, at p.319.

3. Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edition (1973), Vol. 17, Evidence, para. 19; Wigmore on Evidence, 3rd Edition (1940), Vol. (IX), p.327.

4. Hornal v. Neuberger Products Ltd (1957) 1 Q.B. 247, at p.258. See also Helton v. Allen (1940) 63 C.L.R. 691, a case in which the proceeding was one brought by a next of kin for the purpose of establishing that an executor and residuary devisee had killed the textatrix. See e.g. per Starke J. at p.701 and per Dixon, Evatt and McTiernan JJ. at p.712.

See also Rejfek v. McElroy (1965) 112 C.L.R. 517, at p. 5 21.

5. Helton v. Allen (1940) 63 C.L.R. 691.

6. For examples of the enunciation of this principle see PZomp v. The Queen (1963) 110 C.L.R. 234; Barca v. The Queen (1975) 133 C.L.R. 82.

7. See e.g. PZomp v. The Queen ibid., at p. 242 and Barca 7J. The Queen ibid., at pp.105-106.

8. Hobbs v. Tinting (1929) 2 K.B.1, per Scrutton L.J. at

p.21; Steinberg v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1972-1975) 134 C.L.R. 640, at p.694.

9. cf. Horn v. Minister of Health (1937) 1 K.B. 164; cited

with approval in R.v. Registrar of Building Societies (1960) 2 All E.R. 549, at p.560; (1960) 1 W.L.R.669, at p.680.

***

258

WITNESSES - IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Keith William Pearson Richard Charles Lloyd

Donald Milner Cameron, M.P. Beryl May Hodgson Donald Milner Cameron, M.P.

Senator the Right Honourable Reginald Greive Withers Peter William Hocking Beryl May Hodgson

Mavis Alice Rostedt

Jane Blunck Frederick Edward James John Patrick McConnel Trier Virginia Trier David Francis Jull, M.P. Michael Burgho Joyce

Janice Helen Joyce Dorothy Joy James John Joseph Teulan Patricia Tuffs

Noel Thomas Knuth Kevin Michael Cairns, M.P. David Patrick Radford Catherine Valerie Birkbeck

Kevin John Davies Francis Joseph Coleman

Dr. Colin Anfield Hughes John Macquarrie Serisier Robert Michael Seymour The Honourable Eric Laidlaw Robinson, M.P.

Keith William Pearson Senator the Right Honourable Reginald Greive Withers Sir Alan Shallcross Hulme, K.B.E. Robert Lyndley Sparkes

Lynette Terese Kent Evelyn Jean Wight Francis Joseph Coleman Richard Charles Lloyd

The Honourable Eric Laidlaw Robinson, M.P.

259

Schedule 'A'

15 May 1978 15 May 1978 16 May 1978 16 May 1978

17 May 1978 17 May 1978 18 May 1978 19 May 1978

22 May 1978 22 May 1978 22 May 1978 23 May 1978

23 May 1978 24 May 1978 25 May 1978 25 May 1978

25 May 1978 26 May 1978 26 May 1978 26 May 1978

29 May 1978 29 May 1978 29 May 1978 30 May 1978 30 May 1978

30 May 1978 30 May 1978 30 May 1978 30 May 1978 30 May 1978 31 May 1978 1 June 1978 1 June 1978

2 June 1978 2 June 1978 6 June 1978 6 June 1978 6 June 1978

7 June 1978 7 June 1978 7 June 1978 7 June 1978 7 June 1978 7 June 1978 8 June 1978 13 June 1978

No.

A

B

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

B6

B7

B8

EXHIBITS

Description

Map of proposed Electoral Divisions as exhibited at Post Offices from 10 August 1977 to 8 September 1977.

Statement of Keith William Pearson (dated 15 May 1978).

Copy letter dated 18 March 1977 from K.W. Pearson to Australian Statistician seeking the latest population statistics of the Commonwealth.

Copy memorandum dated 21 March 1977 (reply to letter at B1).

Gazette No. S47 dated 22 March 1977 (contains certificate of Chief Australian Electoral Officer as to the population statistics of the Commonwealth).

Determination dated 21 March 1977 made pursuant to the Representation Act, Sections 9 and 10.

Copy letter dated 6 December 1976 sent by Mr Pearson to Australian Electoral Officers for the States (seeking nomination of persons suitable for

appointment as Distribution Commissioners).

Proclamation which forms part of Gazette No. S62 dated 12 April 1977 as to re-distribution of the State of Queensland into Electoral Divisions.

Appointment of three Commissioners to be Distribution Commissioners for the purpose of re-distribution of the State of Queensland dated 19 April 1977.

Appointment of Francis Joseph Coleman to be Chairman of the Re-distribution Commissioners dated 19 April 1977.

260

Schedule 'B'

Transcript Page No.

29

47

49

50

50

50

51

52/3

54

54

I

No.

B9

BlO

Bll

Bl2

Bl3

Bl4

Bl5

Bl6

c

Dl

I!

I

Description

Appointment of Distribution Commissioners in Gazette No. S69 dated 20 April 1977.

Gazette No. S73 dated 26_ April 1977 calling for suggestions on re-distribution pursuant to Section 18A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

Copy letter dated 29 June 1977 from Chief Australian Electoral Officer to the Chairman, Re-distribution Commissioners for Queensland (re Quota

for 1977 Re-distribution)•

Gazette No. Sl60 dated 10 August 1977 giving notice of the display of a map with a description of the boundaries of each proposed division.

Detailed map exhibited in the Electoral Division of "McPherson" in Queensland on 10 August 1977.

Detailed map of the proposed Electoral Division of "Gold Coast" being portion of the old Division of "McPherson" exhibited on 10 August 1977.

Report of the Distribution Commissioners for Queensland signed on 26 September 1977 (3 volumes).

Report from the House of Representatives Select Committee on the naming of Electoral Divisions ("The Fox Report").

List of Electoral Names changed by Parliament.

Submission (copy) dated 11 January 1977 from Acting Chief Australian Electoral Officer to Minister listing possible appointees as Distribution Commissioner

in the various States.

261

Transcript Page No.

54

54

55

56/57

58

58

59

66/67

82

82

\

---;-I "' ' . ......-... -,.,

No.

D2

D3

D4

E

Fl

F2

F3

F4

Description

Copy submission dated 25 February 1977 from Chief Australian Electoral Officer to Minister proposing further names to be added to the list of

possible third Distribution Commissioner.

Copy submission dated 7 March 1977 from Chief Australian Electoral Officer to Minister listing names suggested for appointment as Distribution

Commissioner.

Telex message dated 4 March 1977 from Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland to Chief Australian Electoral Officer containing curriculum vitae of Robert Michael Seymour and

John Gordon Rainbow candidates for appointment as third Distribution Commissioner.

Statement by Richard Charles Lloyd (dated 10 May 1978).

Base map - map of the Commonwealth Electoral Division of "McPherson" as proclaimed 27 February 1969.

Overlay map showing proposed Electoral Divisions of "Gold Coast" and ;,McPherson" as exhibited at Post Offices on 10 August 1977.

Overlay map showing Divisions of ''McPherson" and "Fadden" included in Re-distribution Commissioners' final report.

Overlay map taken from Australian Labour Party submission to Distribution Commissioners showing proposed boundaries of the old Division of "McPherson".

262

Transcript / Page No.

83/84

83/84

83/84

96

111

111

111

111

No.

F5

F6

F7

F8

F9

Gl

G2

G3

G4

G5

G6

Description

Overlay map taken from Liberal Party of Australia submission to the Distribution Commissioners showing .proposed boundaries in r _ espect of the

old Division of "McPherson".

Overlay map taken from Australia Party submission to Distribution Commissioners showing proposed boundaries in respect of the old Division of "McPherson".

Overlay map taken from National Party of Australia submission to Distribution Commissioners showing proposed boundaries in respect of the old

Division of ''McPherson".

Overlay map taken from C.A. Hughes' submission to Distribution Commissioners showing proposed boundaries in respect of the old Division of ''McPherson".

Overlay map taken from Messrs Fraser, Goebel and Brandis' submission to the Distribution Commissioners showing proposed boundaries in respect of the

old Division of "McPherson".

Statement of Donald Milner Cameron (dated 12 May 1978).

Statutory Declaration by Mrs J. Blunck, Mrs M. Rostedt, Mr M.B. Joyce and Mr J. P. Trier dated 28 March 1978.

Statutory Declaration by Mrs V. Trier and Mrs J.H. Joyce dated 9 April 1978.

Statutory Declaration by Mrs M.A. Rostedt dated 12 April 1978.

Statutory Declaration by Mrs J. Blunck dated 12 April 1978.

Document which purports to illustrate Dr Hughes' map.

263

Transcript Page No.

111

111

112

112

112

191

192

192

192

193

195

· ">- •

No. Description

G7 The reference to the map prepared by

the Australian Labor Party.

G8 The reference to the map prepared by

the Australia Party.

G9 The reference to the map prepared by

the Liberal Party.

GlO The reference to the map prepared by

the National Party.

Gll The reference to the map prepared by

Messrs Fraser, Goebel and Brandis.

G12 The interpretation (in map form) of

Gl3

Gl4

GlS

H

J

K

L

M

Mr Teulan's submission to the Liberal Party of 17 May 1977 (i.e. by Mr Cameron).

Page headed "Percentage of Population Relationship".

Document which purports to give populations in various sub-divisions.

9 transparencies of maps elaborating on G6 - Gl2 - held in red manila folder.

Copies of correspondence between John Teulan and the State Director of the Liberal Party dated 17 May 1977 and 10 August 1977.

Letter dated 23 December 1977 from D.M. Cameron, M.P. to the Honourable E.L. Robinson, M.P.

Article from Brisbane Telegraph by Mark Oberhardt dated 29 December 1977 (MP's want Poll probe by P.M.).

Text of address at declaration of poll in "Fadden" on 21 December 1977.

Document headed "Proposed Division 1 (Bowman)" - covered by handwritten note addressed "Dear Eric" signed "Don C".

264

I

I

Transcript Page No .

196

196

I

196

196 I

196

196

196

196

212

205

297

331

332

339

No.

N

01

02

Pl

P2

Q

I R

s

T

u

v

w

I

I X

Description

Article from the Melbourne Age dated 30 December 1977 (Gerrymander Claimed).

Overlay being a large scale projection of Gl2 Mr Cameron's interpretation of Mr Teulan's submission to the Liberal Party.

Overlay representing Mr Lloyd's interpretation of Mr Teulan's submission to the Liberal Party being alternative B in Exhibit H.

Overlay being large scale projection of G7 Mr Cameron's interpretation of Labor Party submission.

Overlay representing the Australian Labor Party suggestion to the· Distribution Commissioners.

Statement of Senator the Right Honourable Reginald Grieve Withers.

Statement of Peter William Hocking.

Photograph appearing in 12 August 1977 edition of Logan and Albert Times.

Article (page 15) from 29 July 1977 edition of Logan and Albert Times -headed "Boy births on increase".

Article dated 1 June 1977 Albert News -headed "They Tell Me".

Editorial dated 18 February 1977 Gold Coast Bulletin - headed "Split Up".

Extract from Courier Mail dated 14 May 1977.

Mrs Hodgson's diagram of seating arrangement at Beaudesert luncheon.

265

Transcript Page No.

361

444

444

445

445

544

595

610/11

613

701

701

706

726

No.

y

z

AA

AB

AC

AD

AE

AF

AG

AH

AJ

AK

AL

AM

Description

Statement of Mavis Alice Rostedt (dated 12 May 1978).

Pencil note by Mrs Rostedt (on back of How to Vote card) - subject matter ''Mr Cameron's dismissal as Deputy Whip" with typescript translation. Attached newspaper clipping headed "P.M. drops Don Cameron - Liberal job shock".

Statement of Jane Blunck (dated 12 May 1978).

Statement of Frederick Edward James (dated 12 May 1978).

Statement of John Patrick McConnel Trier (dated 12 May 1978).

Statement of Virginia Trier (dated 4 May 1978).

Statement of David Francis Jull (dated 18 May 1978).

Statement of Michael Burgho Joyce (dated 11 May 1978).

Photocopy of Mr Joyce's handwritten notebook notes written at Beaudesert luncheon on 26 July 1977.

Statement of Janice Helen Joyce (dated 12 May 1978).

Statement of Dorothy Joy James (dated 12 May 1978).

Statement of John Joseph Teulan (dated 16 May 1978).

Statement of Mrs Patricia Tuffs (dated 4 May 1978).

Statement of Noel Thomas Knuth (dated 11 May 1978).

266

Transcript Page No.

727

778

885

902

976

1005

1027

1041

1056

1106

1125

1128

1209

1232

II

No.

AO

AP

AQ

AR

AS

ASl

AT

AU

AV

AW

AX

AY

Description

Statement of Kevin Michael Cairns (dated 17 May 1978).

Statement of David Patrick Radford (dated 10 May 1978).

Statement of Catherine Valerie Birkbeck.

Statement of Kevin John Davies (dated 30 May 1978).

Statement of Francis Joseph Coleman (dated 25 May 1978).

Annexure 1 to Statement of Francis Joseph Coleman.

Printed statement with title "Statement by the Distribution Commissioners relating to the maps and descriptions of boundaries of proposed divisions as

exhibited at Post Offices".

File of documents - Relevant minutes of meetings and conferences, Distribution Commissioners - marked document 82 in Royal Commission official records.

File (17) - subject "Relevant Miscellaneous Matters".

Pages from Diary (1977) of Francis Joseph Coleman- entries of:

18 July

22 July 22 August 23 August and

15 September.

File (5) - Subject "Relevant Working Papers" - numbered document 75 in the official records of the Royal Commission.

Sheet of paper (item 19) from file "Relevant Working Papers Objections".

267

Transcript Page No.

1246

1302

1308/9

1317

1321

1321

1352

1358

1379

1411

1423

1425

No.

AZ

AAA

AAB

AAC

AAD

AAE

AAF

AAG

AAH

AAJ

AAJl

AAJ2

Description

The Australian Financial Review dated 17 April 1978 - article commencing on page 2 and concluding on page 5.

Minutes of Re-distribution Commissioners meeting on 29 August 1977.

Statement of Colin Anfield Hughes (dated 1 June 1978).

Statement of John Macquarrie Serisier (dated 29 May 1978).

Letter dated 13 April 1978 from J.M. Serisier to Senator R. G. Withers.

Photocopy of Courier Mail article dated 28 October 1977, "New Poll areas anger Liberals".

Statement of Robert Michael Seymour (dated 25 May 1978).

Copy of letter dated 13 April 1978 to Senator R. G. Withers from R. M. Seymour.

Research paper dated 12 August 1977 covered by a compliment slip from the Chief Australian Electoral Officer.

Statement of the Honourable Eric Laidlaw Robinson, M.P. (dated 25 May 1978).

Extract from the Gold Coast Bulletin dated 29 January 1975 and accompanying map.

Text of an address by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Resources the Right Honourable J.D. Anthony at a National Press Club Luncheon in Canberra on 24 March 1977

(Commonwealth Record dated 21-27 March 1977, pp. 323-325).

268

Transcript Page No.

1473

1488/9

1501

1526

1542

1569

1585

1617

1622

1628

1648

1649

No. Description

AAJ3 Text of a radio talk by the Prime

Minister the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, to his electorate on 1 May 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 25 April-1 May 1977, pp. 508-509).

AAJ4 - Extract of an address by the Acting Prime Minister, Minister for National Resources and Minister for Overseas Trade, the Right Honourable J.D. Anthony, to the -Young National Party of Australia conference held at Surfers

Paradise on 13 June 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 13-19 June 1977, pp. 740-741).

AAJ5 Article headed Northern Territory "Uranium mining in N.T." on 21 June 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 20-26 June 1977, pp. 760-761).

AAJ6 Extract from speech by the Acting Prime Minister and Leader of the National Country Party, the Right Honourable J.D. Anthony to the annual conference of the

Australian Country Party in New South Wales on 24 June 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 20-26 June 1977, pp. 768-769).

AAJ7 Extract from speech by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser to the W.A. Liberal Council in Perth on 9 July 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 4-10

July 1977, pp. 866-867).

AAJ8 Comment on 14 July 1977 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Resources, the Right Honourable J. D. Anthony on Mr Hawke's statement on

uranium mining (Commonwealth Record dated 11-17 July 1977, p. 894).

269

Transcript Page No.

1649

1650

1650

1651

1651

1652

No. Description

AAJ9 Extract of a speech by the Deputy

Prime Minister, Minister for National Resources and Minister for Overseas Trade the Right Honourable J. D. Anthony, to the National Party of Queensland at Mt Isa on 23 July 1977

(Commonwealth Record dated 13-24 July 1977, pp. 927-929).

AAJlO Transcript of television interview on 21 June 1977 "This Day Tonight" of the Right Honourable J.D. Anthony by Mr D. Flatman and Mr G. Negus.

AAJll Press statement by the shadow Minister for Minerals and Energy, Mr Paul Keating, M.P. "Uranium Exports" on 24 August 1977.

AAJ12 Extract from the Australian Financial Review of 7 June 1977 on uranium.

AAJ13 Press statement by the Honourable E. L. Robinson, Minister for Posts and Telecommunications on uranium development in the N.T. on 4 August 1977 (Commonwealth Record dated 1-7 August 1977, pp. 1002-1003).

AAJ14 Letter to the Honourable E. L. Robinson from Mr F. J. Coleman dated 21 July 1977.

AAJ15 Article from the Gold Coast Bulletin of 15 November 1977.

AAJ16 Article from the Logan and Albert News of 19 August 1977.

AAK Voting results in November 1977 of Queensland State election in respect of the seats of "Southport" and "Surfers Paradise" - first preferences only.

AAL Supplementary statement of Keith William Pearson (dated 6 June 1978).

270

Transcript Page No.

1652

1652

1653

1653

1653

1654

1656

1656

1659

1738

No. Description

AALl Copy of memorandum dated 24 March 1978 from Chief Australian Electoral Officer to the Australian Electoral Officer, All States referring to

"Background Papers" dealing with a variety of electoral topics.

AAL2 Copy of memorandum dated 24 March 1978 from R.P.L. Howie, Director Research, Legislation and Projects Section to Australian Electoral Officer for New

South Wales covering material relevant to re-distribution.

AAL3 Copy of article from The Bulletin dated 17 September 1977 headed "Political Pendulum".

AAL4 Copy of an advising dated 30 September 1948 signed by J. Q. Ewens for acting Secretary, Attorney-General's Department on the subject "Names

proposed to be given to new Electorates under the Re-distribution Scheme".

AAL5 Copy of an advising dated 1 October 1968 signed by Ewart Smith, First Assistant Secretary, Attorney-General's Department headed "Note of Oral Advice"

on the subject "Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918-1966: Naming of Electoral Divisions".

AAL6

f

AAL7

Copy of minute dated 1 June 1978 signed A. Berendsen to Mr Pearson on the subject "Naming of Divisions by Commissioners".

Copy of minute dated 15 February 1978 signed by I. D. Emerton, Deputy Chief Australian Electoral Officer to Chief Australian Electoral Officer covering

file note of a telephone discussion between Mr Emerton and Senator Withers regarding Mr Cameron's allegations.

271

Transcript Page No.

1752

1752

1753

1753

1753

1753

1753

No. Description

AAL8 Copy of article from The Bulletin dated 27 August 1977 headed -"Proposed changes marginally favour Liberal Party".

AAM Byers/Durack Report of 9 February 1978.

AAO Byers/Durack Report of 15 February 1978.

AAP Statement of Sir Alan Hulme, K.B.E.

AAQ Statement of R. L. Sparkes (dated 2 June

AAR Statement of Lynette Terese Kent (dated 11 May 1978).

AAS Statement of Evelyn Jean Wight (dated 11 May 1978).

AAT Supplementary statement of Francis Joseph Coleman (dated 7 June 1978).

AAU

AAV

AAW

AAX

Part of transcript of tape recording of conversation between Mr Teulan and Mr Cameron, 19 November 1977. Note: It has been· agreed by Counsel that the portion which has been tendered accurately reproduces what appears on

the tape.

Document showing first preference votes for the Division of "McPherson" for the elections of 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Letter dated 24 May 1978 from D. Cameron, M.P. to Secretary to Royal Commission explaining differences between his interpretation of the ALP proposal and the Teulan proposal and Mr Lloyd's

interpretation of the same proposals.

Table showing areas of Commonwealth Electoral Sub-divisions - Queensland.

2 72

Transcript Page No.

1934

1792

1792

1839

1845A

1862

1869A

1879

1893

1894

1931

2044

No. Description

AAY Table of number of electors headed -

"Description of the manner in which the Divisions of "McPherson" and "Fadden" were constituted".

AAZ Two documents headed "Letters Patent -24 April 1978" and "Letters Patent -1 June 1978" containing suggestions by Commissioner to Counsel of matters which might be covered in final

addresses.

AAAA Addendum to exhibit AAX - showing population figures for Commonwealth Electoral Sub-divisions of Queensland.

273

Transcript Page No.

2044

2065

2412

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

For the very thorough examination of a large volume of evidence I express my gratitude to all Counsel who were authorised to appear, t6 the solicitors who instructed them, and to the witnesses whose co-operation was notable. Particularly I must

mention Mr. T.A. Sherman for both the assembling and the making available of so much evidence and to Mr. A.M. Gleeson, Q.C. and Mr. R.H. Macready, for

their consistent and searching analysis of factual matters and legal principles related to the terms of the Letters Patent.

Mr. R. Smeaton, the Secretary and his staff, and Mr. S. Orlowski were expeditious in setting up premises for the Royal Commission at short notice and have always been ready and available when needed

to take charge of the considerable administration required. Mr. J. Dickie in carrying out his tasks

showed a thoughtful consideration for which I am personally grateful.

I am indebted to my Associate, Mr. M.K. Carr

and finally to Mrs. T. McCann, my Personal Secretary.

***

275

t

R77/1626 Cat. No. 78 7726 8