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Wednesday, 11 December 1974
Page: 3452

Senator GREENWOOD -My first question is asked of the Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise and it is as follows:

Is Senator Murphy aware of the public interest in the appointment of Mr D. Ditchburn to the Film Board of Review?

2.   Are Mr Ditchburn 's qualifications as well as the reasons for his appointment legitimately a matter of public interest and properly to be made available as a matter of open government?

3.   Why was Mr Ditchburn considered a proper appointment to the Film Board of Review?

4.   Does Mr Ditchburn hold any, and if so what, position with Ethiopian Airlines? Is the position he holds with Ethiopian Airways a full-time position?

3.   What, if any, background has Mr Ditchburn in the distribution or exhibition of films?

The second question which is directed to the Attorney-General, is as follows:

1.   Why did Senator Murphy decline to answer that part of the question without notice asked by Senator Greenwood on 1 1 December 1 974 which inquired if he would inform the Senate of any benefits received by him and his wife from Ethiopian Airways by way of free or concessional world travel or in other ways?

2.   What overseas trips have been made by

(a)   Senator Murphy

(b)   Mrs IngridMurphy on airlines tickets issued free or at concessional rates at the request of Ethiopian Airways on the basis of Mrs Murphy's employment or engagment with Ethiopian Airways during:

(i)   1969

(ii)   1970

(iii)   1971

(iv)   1972

(v)   1973

(vi)   1974

The next question, which is also directed to the Attorney-General, is as follows:

1.   Did Senator Murphy and Mrs Murphy travel overseas in December 1973- January 1974. If so, where?

2.   Were the air tickets for such flight issued by Pan American Airways at the request of Ethopian Airways for their employee, Mrs Murphy?

3.   Were such tickets issued at a concessional fare rate? If so, what was the concession?

4.   Was the overseas trip official or private?

The next question, which is adddressed to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, as is follows:

1.   Have any warrants in favour of Ethiopian Airways for overseas air travel been paid by the Commonwealth Government?

2.   Over what period have such warrants been paid?

3.   What were the warrants in each case and what amounts were paid?

The next question is directed to the AttorneyGeneral, and it is as follows:

Is it a fact that the Attorney-General has employed Mrs Luz Dungca in his household since her entry into Australia?

Was any arrangement made for her employment before she left the Philippines?

If so, what was the arrangement?

On what grounds of admission under the Government's immigration policy did she enter Australia?

What representations did the Attorney-General make to secure her admission to Australia?

The next question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, is as follows:

1.   Have any moneys received by Qantas from the Commonwealth Government for overseas travel warrants been the subject of inter airline arrangements with Ethopian Airlines?

2.   If yes, what amounts, if any, have been paid or allowed to Ethopian Airlines by Qantas in respect of travel on warrants payable by Commonwealth Government in each of the years 1969 to 1974 inclusive?

The next question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, is as follows:

1.   Does Senator Murphy as Attorney-General have the exclusive power to appoint civil celebrants of marriage?

2.   What is the source of the power?

3.   What criteria does the Attorney-General apply to determine who should be appointed as civil celebrants?

4.   Are persons wishing to become celebrants invited to apply for appointment? If so, to whom is the invitation extended and how is it extended?

5.   If not, how are the persons who are appointed celebrants selected?

The next question is as follows:

1.   Was Junie Morosi at any time an applicant for a position with Qantas?

2.   Was any investigation made as to her suitability for the position she sought?

3.   Was the result of the investigation at any time made available to Dr Cairns or to Senator Murphy?

4.   If so, when and on whose initiative?

The next question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, is as follows:

1.   Apart from religious celebrants of marriage and civil celebrants who are State Government officials who are the present civil celebrants of marriage?

2.   Of the civil celebrants of marriage identified in the answer to the preceding part of this question which of them were appointed by the Attorney-General?

3.   Is it known what amount of fees each civil celebrant has received?

4.   Are such celebrants under any obligation to account for their fees or to disclose the total amounts received?

The final question is as follows:

1.   Is there an organization of persons appointed as civil celebrants of marriage?

2.   Is the Attorney-General a patron of the organization?

3.   Who are the office bearers of the organization?

4.   When was the organization formed and for what purpose was it formed?

5.   Who are the present members of the organization?

Those are the questions. I have chosen this quite unusual course because there will be no notice paper on which these questions can be placed until the Senate is about to resume, whenever that be next February or March. I think these are matters of public interest which ought to be looked at by the Ministers to whom they are directed and by whom answers should be given in the public interest.

We know that this is a government which when it was in Opposition claimed that open government was the right and entitlement of all Australians. I would hope that now it is in Government it would be no less eager to uphold the principle when it is brought to its attention. I know that questions on notice- certainly questions on notice lodged by me- have been on the notice paper for over 12 months and unless they have been answered in the batch which was provided tonight I have not been successful in obtaining the information. I think it does not reflect credit upon the Government that when I raised this matter within the last week I was simply told in effect that the Government has better things to do than to answer my questions. I simply feel that unless persons in this place are prepared to persist, to raise their questions, to look for the answers and to do it because they believe that people in Australia have a right to know, this Parliament is not providing for those who are members of it the proper facilities which it should have. I have used the adjournment on this occasion for that purpose.

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