Page 4322 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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Mr Gold, in his letters, did confirm some associations that I had previously made. He suggested that I was attacking church laymen. I could not quite get any understanding from that. He did retract a suggestion that Mr Gill had been convicted of something, and he did, basically, confirm that he had been placed in bankruptcy by the Tax Office before the Federal Court. I had said, at the time, that he was about to be. (Extension of time granted)

I just wanted to respond very briefly to the matter. Mr Stuart Gill was indeed a consultant with the Victorian police force, and he still is. Victorian police have travelled to the ACT with regard to the matters that I raised in relation to the Publications Control (Amendment) Bill. They visited my office on at least two separate occasions at different periods and spent a number of days in Canberra visiting my office at different times.

Mr Gill has resigned from staff in my office. That was effective, I think, on 10 October. My staff funding will not allow me to employ anybody else, other than a secretary, for the rest of this term. That is a point that I mentioned that I had had some difficulty with. That is the third time that that has happened. There simply is not enough money to allow people to pay consultants. There is half a pay, if you like.

So, I think it is unfortunate that the comments were made on the front page of the Canberra Times. I have also been informed by Victorian police that, as I have said in the past, matters are being investigated in Victoria.


MR STEFANIAK (5.44): Whilst I was upstairs talking to a person with whom I had an appointment, I heard Mr Collaery speak in relation to the problems in the Balkans. I am supportive of any moves that can be made to bring peace to that troubled part of the world. I think it must be fairly obvious that the modern day state of Yugoslavia, especially, is an artificial creation and obviously cannot last.

So, the violence over there at present, as Mr Collaery says, emanating often from the Federal Army, is most disconcerting. That is probably the most dangerous trouble spot in the world at present. I think the rights of the people of the former state of Yugoslavia and their right to self-determination need to be respected. I hope that more steps will be taken by the international community, including Australia, to that end.

Mr Collaery, I note, was not alone in a couple of his demonstrations. There were politicians from the Federal Parliament - the local Labor and Liberal politicians - and members of this Assembly, as he stated. I think that is probably important to mention in relation to that issue.

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