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Report Vindicates Bradford

Defence Minister Max Bradford said today he had been vindicated by the
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee’s inquiry into an allegation of political influence or involvement in the appointment of the Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University.

“Despite the best efforts of the opposition party members, the committee concluded there was no evidence of political interference or involvement.

“This was my position from the beginning, a position proved to be correct by those who were best placed to know,” Mr Bradford said.

“Opposition members of the committee elected not to include the extensive evidence from interviews showing this and chose instead to focus on unsubstantiated innuendo.

“The full evidence shows that when cross-examined, officials and independent university people involved in the appointment process, all denied absolutely that there had been any political interference or influence,” he said.

Mr Bradford said former Director Terence O’Brien’s allegations of political interference in the selection process were proven to be totally without foundation.

“I much regret that Mr O’Brien started the whole process in the way that he did. I am particularly disappointed that he refused under oath to substantiate his allegation.

“It is a matter of public record that Mr O’Brien, an applicant along with others, was unsuccessful by unanimous decision of both the selection panel and the management committee of the centre.

“I trust this will put a sorry incident to bed,” Mr Bradford said.

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