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Thursday, 18 November 2004
Page: 4

Senator HARRIS (9:36 AM) —Before I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 7 standing in my name for today, I seek leave to make a short statement. I will then seek to have that motion, as amended, taken as formal.

Leave granted.

Senator HARRIS —Several objections were received by my office in relation to the use of the term `Anzac' during the proceedings of the rugby league games being played in Europe. The minister accordingly provided me with a brief history, which I will try to encapsulate as briefly as possible. It states:

The Chief Executive of the ARL ... wrote to my predecessor on 25 June 2004 seeking approval to use the word `Anzac' ...

A brief to then Minister was being finalised when the Federal election was called. In line with caretaker provisions, it was considered that a decision on the use of the word `Anzac' could not be made by the then Minister.

In light of this, the Department telephoned the ARL in late September to advise that no formal decision would be taken ...

Following that call, the Department wrote to the ARL on 8 October confirming the telephone advice, pointing out that this would necessitate finding an alternative name

... ... ...

The Nine Network and other media outlets have not breached the Regulations by simply reporting the match.

That is a very brief encapsulation of the minister's letter. I seek leave to amend the motion standing in my name.

Leave granted.

Senator HARRIS —I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Tri-nations Rugby League series is currently being played in the United Kingdom,

(ii) one of the composite teams is made up of players from Australia and New Zealand, and

(iii) this team is being reported by Channel 9 and possibly others as `The ANZACS';

(b) further notes that the use of the word `ANZACS' is contrary to Commonwealth legislation unless there is approval given by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs;

(c) requests the Minister for Veterans' Affairs to advise the Senate whether an application for the use of the word `ANZACS' has been received from Channel 9 and, if so, whether the Minister granted such approval, or, if not, whether the Minister will ensure that such reference by Channel 9 ceases immediately; and

(d) if the name has been used without approval, calls on the Minister to request a public apology from the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rugby League for the misuse of the word `ANZACS'.

Question agreed to.