the West Australian

  • November 28, 1997, p. 10

    Rindos affair leaks rapped by UWA

  • By Michael Day

    (topped by picture of Professor Robson)

    UNIVERSITY of WA deputy vice-chancellor Alan Robson said yesterday the university was disappointed at the breakdown in the processes of the WA Legislative Council's public administration committee.

    Professor Robson said the breakdown, which resulted in leaks of a draft report on an inquiry into the 1993 denial of tenure to UWA archaeology lecturer David Rindos, should be of concern to the Legislative Council.

    An Upper House privileges committee said a series of un-authorised disclosures of the report originated with instructions given to a research officer by Liberal MLC Barbara Scott, a member of the public administration committee.

    The committee said one of the leaks went to Associate Professor Neville Bruce, a prominent critic of the UWA administration over Mr Rindos, who died last December.

    The privileges committee said an unauthorised disclosure of a committee's draft report was a breach of privilege but did not pursue the matter of the Scott leaks.

    The committee had been asked only to investigate a leak to another critic of UWA, Professor Charles Oxnard, but was unable to identify who was responsible.

    Mrs Scott said yesterday she did not believe she had breached privilege and would not have given written instructions to her research officer to give the draft report to Professor Bruce if it had been a privileged document.

    She said she had not given the report to Professor Oxnard.

    Government Legislative Council leader Norman Moore said any question about why no action had been taken over the Scott leaks should be referred to the privileges committee.

    But the privileges committee chairman, Nick Griffiths, said the committee had fulfilled its task and it was up to Mr Moore to take any action.

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