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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1077

Mr BARRY JONES (Minister for Science and Technology) —I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr SPEAKER —The Minister may proceed.

Mr BARRY JONES —In a Press release yesterday put out by the Leader of the National Party, the honourable member for Richmond (Mr Anthony), the following statements appeared:

Following a statement in Parliament on ANAHL by the Minister for Science and Technology on 6 September, I made an urgent inspection of the ANAHL complex at Geelong.

My inspection and my later close examination of the Minister's statement and the issues involved have horrified me.

I can only believe that Mr Jones is taking part in a deliberate campaign to sabotage this vital facility and to discredit the way in which the CSIRO has executed its development.

In the course of his part in this campaign, he has made serious misrepresentations to the Parliament, ignored the advice of his highest scientific advisers, and is in serious danger of exposing some of Australia's most important industries, as well as Australians themselves, to grave risks.

The Opposition will be pursuing this most serious matter in the Parliament this week with the greatest possible vigour.

It believes the actions of Mr Jones must be brought-

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Minister has received the call to explain where he has been personally misrepresented. He should confine himself to those misrepresentations and not the opinions of the Opposition that arise from it.

Mr BARRY JONES —Mr Speaker, this is the nature of the misrepresentation.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! I am quite able to comprehend English. The Minister is including the argument of the Leader of the National Party in the Press release. He is seeking to correct where he has been personally misrepresented. I ask him to come to that point.

Mr BARRY JONES —Mr Speaker, with respect, given that the members of the Parliament will not understand what the allegations are, I simply make the point that I deny categorically the allegations made, whether known or unknown. My concern as Minister for Science and Technology is to ensure that ANAHL performs the widest possible range of appropriate functions as soon as practicable and at reasonable cost. The Chairman of CSIRO requested me in writing to set up a ministerial committee to recommend future policies on ANAHL as a matter of urgency. As the Chairman said in his Press release--

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Minister is not entitled to debate the matter. He has stated that he has been personally misrepresented. He must correct that misrepresentation. The material he is giving us at the moment is not a matter of personal misrepresentation.

Mr BARRY JONES —I simply say that I deny categorically the allegations made.