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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21750

Doorstop Interview Garvan Research Institute, Sydney

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/05/2005

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 21750

PRIME MINISTER:

Could I just repeat what I said a few moments ago about the extraordinary role that medical research plays in the modern Australian story. It isn't as widely recognised as it should, just how high a quality is the medical research of this country and our capacity to punch above our weight is, as I said a few moments, something of which all Australians should be proud, and I am very happy to start this week with this visit to the Garvan. I will be going to Queensland for two or three days tomorrow, and then at the end of the week I intend to visit some of the drought affected areas of New South Wales, which are suffering still from this ongoing drought that has gripped large parts of this country for far too long. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister can we just talk Vivian Alvarez, her lawyers have said this morning at the airport on their way to the Philippines, they'd like $2 million compensation from the Government, what are the chances of them getting that?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not going to respond to those comments at all, we have an inquiry and when the results of the Palmer Inquiry are known, then the Government will have something further to say about the handling of the matter, but until all of the facts have been established, clearly something does appear to have gone badly wrong, it's inappropriate, it's premature, and it's something that I am not going to talk about.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think the inquiry will reveal systematic failings?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not going to predict what it is going to reveal, I'll wait until I know what it's revealed, before I talk about what it has revealed.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think the Government should make the lawyers who are going to see her today talk about making an ex-gratia payment to?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think the right thing to do is what I've just said.

JOURNALIST:

And with Schapelle Corby, the letter, how do you feel this letter will persuade [inaudible]?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well this letter was asked for by her lawyers last Thursday and it was provided on Friday evening. It deals with facts, it arises out of a request that was made by her lawyers to the court, for the court to view some footage from a Channel Nine report. The court indicated, so I am told, that it wouldn't view the footage, but if it had communication from the Government, dealing with certain facts and the letter which has been published at the behest of the lawyers in the press this morning, deals with certain facts relating to the allegations concerning the baggage handlers and the coincidence of the dates, the 8th October 2004. Now what that means for the consideration of the case by the Indonesian court is a matter for the court to determine. I repeat what I said yesterday, I hope that the verdict is fair and true and right and just. The Government will provide any information or support that it appropriately and properly should provide to assist in the presentation of Schapelle Corby's defence. It is not appropriate for me to try in any way to intervene in the judicial process of another country, any more than it would be right and proper for me to try and intervene in the judicial process in this country.

JOURNALIST:

So you don't believe that that letter amounts to interference?

PRIME MINISTER:

The letter is not interference, the letter represents the provision of factual information that the defence lawyers are entitled to have, they asked for, and will be made available to the court. It is never interference to provide factual information. Thank you.

[ends]

Transcript 21750