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Governor-General.



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STATEMENT

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

GOVERNOR-GENERAL

Recently I was advised by sources in the legal profession that the Governor-General has sought and obtained suppression orders with respect to his involvement in certain legal proceedings. I was not told the names of the parties to the proceedings nor the particular jurisdiction in which they are being pursued.

Because of the nature of these processes I was unable to substantiate this claim. I therefore placed the following questions on notice to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State on May 1, 2003:

Has the Governor-General initiated any kind of legal proceedings or motions in any Australian court during 2003?

Has the Governor-General initiated any applications for suppression orders with respect to any legal proceedings in any Australian court during 2003?

I did so because I believe that the possibility of suppression orders being used by very senior figures in Government with respect to proceedings involving matters which may be the subject of major public controversy raises very serious issues of transparency and accountability in Government.

It is now up to the Government to determine whether indeed any such orders were sought or obtained, and if so, for what reason.

May 8, 2003