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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 3881

Mr McMAHON (Lowe) - Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Does the right honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr McMAHON - Yes, I do. In today's Australian' there is an article headed:

Whitlam hires TV man-

Referring to a Mr Colin Bednall and, I add, as well as Mr Mick Young - to advise on media.

He will be a media consultant to the Prime Minister's Department. The article goes on to state:

Mr Bednallwill be employed on a similar basis to an adviser to the previous Government, Mr K. Sinclair, who is still under contract but has had little work since Labor came to power.

The fact is that Mr K. Sinclair was not on my personal staff or on the staff of the previous Government. He was on the staff of the Department of the Prime Minister as a consultant to that Department but with no political commitment. Mr Sinclair, whom I greatly respect, was of course available to me, as were other officers of that Department, for discussions and for the drafting of speeches. He was not used by me as a media adviser in any capacity whatsoever. I make this explanation against the background that I had only 4 male advisers on my -personal staff employed under Public Service conditions. The remainder - mainly females - were on my personal staff in an administrative capacity. They included stenographer-typists and others employed on similar types of work. I did take Dr Coombs overseas with me on one occasion and used his services on an irregular basis on several other occasions particularly in relation to Aborigines.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The right honourable gentleman has only to explain where he has been misrepresented.

Mr McMAHON - I have already explained that, thank you, Sir.

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