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The Supreme Court of Australia Transcript of Proceedings Between Peter Julian Hansen (Plaintiff) and Northern Land Council (Defendant) pages 52-117



The Supreme Court of Australia Transcript of Proceedings Between Peter Julian Hansen (Plaintiff) and Northern Land Council (Defendant) pages 52-117

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Tabled paper 807


Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabledby Shane Stone


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Yes, go on?---I stood at - I stood at - the only person I knew in the directorate was Tony Haritos. I.had met him through - socially on perhaps one or two occasions, back in the '80s. He was friends of journalists who I also knew and so, he was the one person I knew, so I thought my first contact would be with Tony. So, I stood at his office door. He was on the telephone and he had a conversation which - which was along the lines that - well, his response to the questions being asked were, 'I don't know what's going on, can I take your name and phone number and get back to you.' He put down the phone and it instantly rang. This procedure went on for 15 minutes or so. Meanwhile, other phones were ringing. So, I just stood there. There was no opportunity to talk to him. He was on the phone the whole time. The deputy director, I noticed at this stage, was in his office. Then finally, after about 15 minutes,' Haritos finished a phone call and then there wasn't an immediate one following, so I said, 'G'day Tony' and I said, 'Whats going on?' And did he advise you of a problem in relation to a news story about the Northern Land Council pressing a retrospective - claims no minerals?---Yes, he did. What happened in relation to that matter?---Well, he said to me thatJbefore the director had left for Canberra, he had - 'he', the director - had informed a guy' called Chips Macanaulty, I think his name is - who was a stringer for the Sydney Morning Herald, that the Northern Land Council was going to make a back-dated claim for mineral royalties going back over a period of 50 years or so but the story, as printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, was pretty garbled and it had set the southern journalists into a bit of a frenzy and they wanted to know exactly what the Northern Land Council was proposing to do with this retrospective claim. So I said, 'Well, what is the situation?' and he said, 'I don't know.' So, I thought well, 'It's no good just continuing this' and the telephone's kept on ringing - I thought, 'Well, what's got to be done is find out what the situation is and see what can be done so that we can answer these press queries.' So I then went around to the - asked where the legal section was - because it was obviously a legal matter - and introduced myself to one of the secretaries there and I'd met Brett Madena at the interview, so I said, 'Where's Brett?' and she said, 'He's in conference with a barrister', and I said, 'Well, look, there's something which is causing a bit of a fuss with the press, is it possible to speak to him?1 So, she said, 'Well, he's in this conference room. So I knocked on the door and entered the room and apologised for intruding, said, 'Brett, there's a problem going on and I wonder if you could just give me a bit of background so that Tony can deal with the media.1 So, the barrister was a bloke called, I think, Keon Cowan, and he said, 'Well look, I can give it to you straightaway', he got out his dictaphone, dictated a short 8 - 9 / l d H a n s e n 62 P.J. H A N S E N XN 18 / 1 1 / 9 8