The West Australian, Perth

  • Monday, September 8 1997, page 6

    Forensic test used to trace leak
    by Rebecca Rose

    A SPECIAL parliamentary committee has been established to investigate a breach of privilege after a draft report into the Rindos inquiry was leaked to a witness from the University of WA.

    The privilege committee will meet for the first time today in a bid to uncover the source of the leak, with members of the Public Administration Committee forced to give evidence to rule themselves out.

    It is understood they have handed in personal copies of the draft report for forensic testing to determine if the marks on the leaked copy match theirs.

    The Public Administration Committee was investigating the 1993 denial of tenure to UWA archaeology lecturer David Rindos, who died last year.

    The leak was revealed last month when UWA professor Charles Oxnard telephoned deputy clerk of committees Stuart Kay to discuss the report, saying he disagreed with some of the findings.

    A copy of the draft report had been left in Professor Oxnard's pigeon hole at UWA around August 11. The head of agriculture and science was one of Dr Rindos' main backers at UWA.

    Chairman, Labor MLC Kim Chance, said the leak was serious because it involved a draft report which could bear little relation to the final report.

    Penalties for the leak range from an apology to the Legislative Council through dismissal from State Parliament for the most serious breaches.