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Child sex claim rocks Cabinet

Wednesday 28 May 2003, 6:05 AM

Sensational claims that an unnamed senior NSW government minister had sex with a 15-year-old have been raised in state parliament amid a decision to lower the age of consent for homosexual males to 16.

In a conscience vote, the Legislative Council voted 23 to 16 to pass the government bill to establish a uniform age of consent of 16 years in NSW, generating cheers and applause from a packed public gallery.

But Liberal MLC Charlie Lynn announced to the parliament that he had documents relating to a police investigation of paedophilia allegations against a senior government politician.

Mr Lynn complained that the government had failed to answer several questions he posed during his second reading speech on the bill and he would therefore reveal he had the police documents in his possession.

"These documents are significant in that they refer to a senior member of the Carr cabinet and they link that member (to) illegal underage sex," Mr Lynn told parliament.

"I read out one sentence from a police statement which says 'At the age of 15, I was a victim of' - and the statement gives the name of a senior cabinet minister.

"'I said: What do you mean?'

"'He said: He picked me up and he said something like He f'ed me and he robbed me'."

Mr Lynn also read out a sentence in a report by a senior police officer, in which he said the information provided about the cabinet minister was corroborated.

"Will the government now answer my questions or will the government force me to reveal the full contents of these documents?"

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon denounced Mr Lynn's allegations as "political blackmail" but potentially explosive.

"Allegations of potentially criminal activity should be given to the police and only raised in the parliament when all other avenues have failed," she told AAP.

"Charlie Lynn's attempt to derail the equal age of consent bill at the third reading was attempted political blackmail and completely unparliamentary behaviour," she said.

"This is potentially explosive."

The bill's passage means the age of consent in NSW, as in every other Australian state, will become the same for all types of sexual relationships.

2003 AAP

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