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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1692

Mr UREN (Reid) (12:15 PM) - I will be brief because I know the hour is late, but as 1 pointed out earlier this evening Geoffrey Mullen was transferred from Long Bay Gaol to Berrima Gaol. Because of certain incidents which occurred at Berrima he was then transferred to Newnes. I wish to quote briefly from today's 'Australian*. The article states that Mr Maddison, the Minister for Justice in New South Wales, when replying to Mr Petersen, the State member for Illawarra, said that there were reasons for Mullen being transferred from Berrima gaol. The article states:

Certain alleged incidents took place at Berrima and the administration decided for good and proper reasons to move him to Newnes,' Mr Maddison said. 1 might say that it was only after my speech in this House that Mullen was moved. The article goes on to say:

After about two or three months at Newnes prison farm 'it became obvious that this man (Mullen) was unable to relate to other Inmates in this institution.'

Reports suggested that he was in danger from suffering physical violence.'

Mr Maddisonwent on to say that Mullen should serve only a maximum of 12 months in gaol.

I state - and I want the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Lynch) to take note of this - that the statement made by the Minister for Justice, Mr Maddison, that it became obvious that this man Mullen was unable to relate to other inmates in the institution and that he was in danger of suffering physical violence is categorically false. For some reason or other the New South Wales authorities, including I take it, Mr McKeegan, who is the head of the prison service, have taken a dislike to this boy. This young man should remain at Newnes prison farm which is a more appropriate place for him to serve a sentence if he has to serve it. We have asked the Minister to release him but he has already given a reply in the negative so I am not going to press that point. It is not the one I am trying to make. I am asking that the Government have discussions with the New South Wales authorities in order to enable Mullen to return to Newnes. Newnes is a prison farm where there are at least appropriate conditions for the young man to do his post graduate studies. There is a library and he can read newspapers. The whole atmosphere of the prison farm is far more beneficial than that of Cooma gaol.

Hismother has requested me to make this representation. The honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) set out the principles of the case. Mullen is a man of strong character and I hope that the Minister reads the comments made by the honourable member for Prospect here tonight. Mullen is a man of courage and I ask that he be given consideration because young men in circumstances such as these should not be persecuted in any way. He should be given consideration and in fact, in my view, respected for his great moral stand and great moral courage. There should be some understanding on the part of the

Government and the prison authorities of New South Wales of the difficult situation that he will be in. I am asking for a complete examination of the Mullen case.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be omitted (Mr Barnard's amendment) stand part of the clause.

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