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Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs - 15/02/2013 - Crimes committed at sea
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MORONEY, Mr Kenneth Edward, private capacity

[14:28]

CHAIR: I now welcome Mr Ken Moroney to give evidence. For the Hansard record, would you please state the capacity in which you appear before the committee.

Mr Moroney : I am a former police officer and was tasked in 2008 by Carnival Australia to undertake a body of work which I believe is relevant to your terms of reference.

CHAIR: Would you like to make a brief statement before we move to questions?

Mr Moroney : Thank you, Chair. Firstly, could I—

CHAIR: Sorry, Mr Moroney. Could you just state your record. You just said 'a police officer'. I think it might be a little bit more extensive than that.

Mr Moroney : Yes, thank you. I was going to elaborate on that. Firstly, thank you for your indulgence this morning in changing my appearance time to attend to a private funeral. By way of introduction and to put a context to my appearance today, I was a member of the New South Wales Police Force between 1965 and 2007. On 31 August 2007, I retired as the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force.

In early 2008, at» the request of the chief executive officer of Carnival Australia, Ms Ann Sherry, I met with her to discuss a body of work that she required to be done. That body of work was in two parts, with part 2 having two subparts. The first part of my inquiry related to an operational assessment of the security management arrangements relevant to Carnival's ships—in particular recruitment, selection, training and issues peripheral to those three heads as they related to Carnival's security staff. What also went into that was peripheral issues relevant to their duties: the responsible service of alcohol and the power or authority of security officers on ships as delegated by the captain. The second part of the review related to the development of national protocols for the reporting of «crimes» «at» sea. Part A related to the development of an Australian protocol, and part B related to the development of a protocol in the south-west Pacific—in particular those ports where Carnival's ships cruised.

Firstly, in dealing with the operational assessment of the security management issues relevant to Carnival ships, I undertook that report and I provided it to Ms Sherry in June 2008. There were a number of recommendations in that report, and to the best of my knowledge those recommendations were either accepted or modified as the case may be. Coincident with that body of work, I met with the Australian commissioners of police and Ms Sherry «at» their conference—the commissioners conference here in Sydney—in the latter part of 2008. We put to that commissioners conference the need for a national protocol to do with «crimes» «at» sea, whether they related to Carnival ships or the cruise ships of any other line. Arising out of that endorsement in principle by the commissioners, a meeting was convened «at» the New South Wales Police Marine Area Command. It consisted of Australian police jurisdictions, representatives of the Commonwealth Attorney-General and representatives of the Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Others were not excluded, but they were the two principal cruise lines that attended. Armed—if I could use that term—with the commissioners' endorsement in principle, we then set out to develop a set of national Australian protocols, and over intervening months that was done. So in 2009 the commissioners of each of the Australian police jurisdictions, including the Australian Federal Police, signed that protocol. Part B of the second term of reference that was—

CHAIR: Sorry, Mr Moroney. Just before we continue, the binding nature of a protocol is, 'We aspire to this being the practice of our jurisdictions'? Is that the nature of it?

Mr Moroney : Yes, I think it is reasonable to say that they were designed to be a model of best practice.

CHAIR: A model, yes. So they are not legislative.

Mr Moroney : No.

CHAIR: They are not by-laws.

Dr STONE: They are principles.

CHAIR: They are not regulations.

Mr Moroney : They are principles and guidelines.

CHAIR: Okay, thank you. Sorry to interrupt.

Mr Moroney : Without reference to the Brimble issue, there is no doubt that that certainly was the catalyst for the need for a national protocol. Coincident with the Australian protocol, I met with the south-west Pacific chiefs of police. That group, for the purpose of record, consists of the Australian Federal Police, the New Zealand Police and the police forces of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Consistent with the approach to the Australian set of arrangements—that those protocols were drawn up after a number of discussions—and similar to the Australian protocol, each of the chiefs of police, including the chief of the AFP, were signatories to that protocol. Whilst I do not have the exact date, I think that was also signed-off in 2009. To the best of my knowledge, whilst I have not been asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the Australian or the South West Pacific protocols, I understand that they are working. How well they are working is a matter of your committee to gauge.

CHAIR: You are not suggesting we need to go to every one of those countries are you? That would be a bit difficult in an election year.

Mr Moroney : I wish you well. My concluding comment ought to be in terms of my CV—as I mentioned, I retired as the commissioner of police in 2007, and since that time I have been appointed to a number of Commonwealth and state statutory bodies.

CHAIR: Would you like to make a comment on investigating and prosecuting since the protocols have been signed off—if you could put on your police hat—and the advice you have given to Carnival in terms of what they might contribute to investigating and prosecuting «crimes» «at» sea.

Mr Moroney : Let me reiterate that the development of these protocols and the review of security management arrangements on Carnival ships was «at» the instigation of Carnival itself. It was not something imposed, because «at» the time that these bodies of work were undertaken the Brimble inquest was still underway. The advantage of the protocols was that they drew together that which informally existed before, and took account of the fact that each state and Australian territory and undoubtedly, to varying degrees, the South West Pacific police jurisdictions, would be operating under different laws. But there were a number of issues in terms of the investigation of «crimes» «at» sea that would have a complementary set of standard operating procedures, so the protocols were primarily designed to bring about a uniformity of approach into how «crimes» were investigated from the least serious through to the ultimate, with the latter being something like the Brimble case. It acknowledged that states, territories and Pacific island nations have their own laws in which to operate. As you have heard from the two previous speakers, coronial laws by and large vary in terms of what is required to satisfy the coroner of that jurisdiction as to the time, date, place and circumstances of the death of a person or to satisfy a magistrate or ultimately a superior court of the facts of the matter. The protocols were designed so that we could have that uniform approach. It took account of the jurisdictional differences in law, but it set in train a procedure whereby the police of those jurisdictions operated by a common set of guidelines—they were not rules. By and large, I think, with the endorsement of the commissioners of police, that was certainly sufficient guidance to constables, sergeants and investigators that this is what—

CHAIR: It is a direction from the employer basically.

Mr Moroney : Yes, and the fact that each commissioner was a signatory on the protocol reinforced—

CHAIR: I know I am thinking militarily, but is it effectively an order?

Mr Moroney : In policing terms it would have the equivalence of a commissioner's instruction.

CHAIR: So you could be in trouble as an employee of the New South Wales police service for not following that instruction.

Mr Moroney : Yes, in the sense that there would need to be an explanation as to why the guidelines or the protocols were not followed. And then of course you face the scrutiny of the superior courts as to why things did or did not occur.

Dr STONE: We have heard different information about the training of the security officers on board these ships. Some have huge numbers of passengers—up to 5,000, and there are 500 staff—so the security officers obviously have a very big task. Can you tell us whether you were satisfied when you first took up the challenge in 2008, when you were asked to do the task? Did you look «at» the training of those security officers beyond Carnival or with Carnival? Did you come to a conclusion as to whether their training was, on the whole, adequate? Have you been aware since then of whether the security officers operating on ships, which take a lot of Australian passengers, have improved? Are you happy with the standard now?

Mr Moroney : My brief was only with Carnival Australia to look «at» the security management issues—as I said, relevant to recruitment, selection and training.

Dr STONE: What did you find? We had evidence that somebody trained for about a two-week period.

Mr Moroney : Learning for any occupation or profession has to be a lifelong thing. It cannot be done simply. There may be a formality which says that your inauguration or initiation into a trade or profession or occupation is of a particular period of time. Clearly, my observation when I set out on the task—and, again, I was confining myself to security staff of Carnival Australia—was that it had been somewhat limited in content and focus. But that had changed before I had arrived, primarily «at» the instigation, I believe, of Ann Sherry and also Mr Graeme O'Neill. I may not have his correct title, but he is the security manager for Carnival Australia. Indeed, Mr O'Neill is a former commander of the New South Wales Police Marine Area Command. He brought with him a level of discipline in terms of recruitment, selection, training, and standards of operation. That body of work had already started to improve those standards.

One of the difficulties then—and I cannot be assured of the point I am about to make in 2013—as I noted in 2008, was that much of the recruitment was done in India. If the recruitment were done here for a whole range of occupations and professions, they would in some cases arrange mandated background checks—criminal history checks. Regarding Australia's regime in the recruitment of people into a number of trusted professions, as I will call them, and I classify security management as one of those; indeed, one only has to reference the body of work that has been done and is being done in terms of land based security officers—

CHAIR: Yes, there have been some rogue elements in Queensland and in New South Wales.

Dr STONE: Like bouncers «at» clubs and pubs—that sort of thing.

Mr Moroney : No longer is it easy to get a security licence here. You simply cannot simply be warm and vertical and be employed on the basis of your bulk, which I suspect may have been the case in terms of land based security in the past. Consistent with the approach that has been taken on the land side, Graeme O'Neill, in particular, promoted the whole issue of training. When I went onto the ships, I had free and unfettered access to the staff, from the captain down. I sat in on training programs that Graeme O'Neill and others developed. One that particularly stood out was in relation to the preservation of crime scenes and the authority of the security officer to prevent people from contaminating the crime scene. Sitting in the audience was the captain. My understanding of the authority of a captain of a ship «at» sea is that it is quite deliberate and fixed, but to my great surprise and endorsement, I distinctly recall the captain—and I do not think it was said for my sake— «at» the end of Graeme O'Neill's presentation on crime scene preservation, standing up and reinforcing the role and function of the security officers. That is where the leadership has to come from: it has to come from the captain, not the head security officer. That is important.

CHAIR: It is where the authority comes from when they are in the high seas.

Mr Moroney : Absolutely.

CHAIR: As soon as they leave the dock, I guess, the authority—

Mr Moroney : It not only related to crime related issues. The issue of the consumption of alcohol by parties on ships is a dominant issue. The security officers had gone through—and I suspect still go through—a responsible service of alcohol course.

CHAIR: As if they were in New South Wales?

Mr Moroney : As if they were in New South Wales working behind the bar of a hotel or a club. That included not only identifying persons affected by abuse of alcohol but also the action that needed to follow from that. Again, consistent with the captain's approach, one of the senior officers responsible for that aspect—bar services et cetera—also reinforced the issue of the responsible service of alcohol and the responsible consumption of alcohol, because they are two complementary things. In that sense, the body of work to strengthen the role and function of the security officers was already underway. The report that I did sought to strengthen those arrangements and build on them even further. It extended it out to strengthening the role of medical staff—doctors and nurses—particularly as it related to, say, «crimes» involving sexual assault: the use of sexual assault kits, their safe storage and retention in the inevitability that they needed to be used both for forensic examination, the results of which would presumably be accounted for in the courts.

The whole face of security was not just about recruiting people; it had to be about recruiting the right people with the right background and with the right skill set. I found—which is not an unusual thing—that women played a dominant role in security management. I must express some concern—not «at» their capacity to do the job but mindful of some of the clientele with whom they were dealing on occasions—but they gave as much, if not more, than some of their male counterparts in the sense of an air of knowledge, an air of authority: 'I'm telling you, you will stop drinking. You will behave in this way,' or 'You won't behave in that particular way.' The recruiting mix, I thought, was balanced. I thought that the female security officers took a more dominant role. Indeed I noted that, on the occasion that I was on one of the ships, they were in positions of authority over male security officers, which was not necessarily a bad thing. In that sense, we put forward some recommendations about how they were recruited, how they were selected, how they were trained and the need for ongoing or in-service training of those officers. As I said, Graeme O'Neill had already started that body of work.

CHAIR: In the New South Wales police, I assume, there is an integrity unit or an internal investigation unit.

Mr Moroney : Yes. It varies, but most police forces refer to it as a professional standards command.

CHAIR: Occasionally the police, wherever they are in the world, do the wrong thing. Could you make comment on the fact that, on board an ocean liner, there is no integrity unit, there is no independent person, to make sure that the people in authority are doing the right thing. We have had evidence about the efficacy of sea marshals, for want of a better term—independent representatives of the law, even though there would be problems about what law they represented. Would you make comment on that? We had evidence that in the past, for three years, the cruise liners had effectively had sea marshals, and they were off-duty New South Wales police members. They tried it for three years but found it to be ineffective because they had lost their independence over time anyway, because they were seen as being a part of the ship. I am not sure if you have knowledge of that time in the past, of sea marshals.

Mr Moroney : I show my age by demonstrating that knowledge! Off-duty police officers—who took annual leave or other recreational leave—occupied security roles on ships. To the best of my knowledge, that existed between about 1960 and about 1990, so it went for a fairly long time. I think other jurisdictions probably would have examples of the same sort of scenario.

CHAIR: They are not like the cop «at» the roadworks, in their uniform, who has the authority of the New South Wales police. I know in Queensland we do it all the time—

Dr STONE: Is like getting a hamburger «at» McDonald's!

CHAIR: It was quite a while.

Mr Moroney : They were purely there not as police officers representing jurisdiction A or B or C but they were there as security officers. The security licensing arrangements were probably not as rigid as they are today. Indeed, a serving police officer would not get a security officers licence—certainly in the state of New South Wales—because it is one of those occupations or professions that is prohibited under the secondary employment policies of the New South Wales Police. I daresay it is the same with other jurisdictions as well. It was not unknown for police officers, particularly in the state, to work on cruise ships. It was not unknown for, say, nurses, to work on cruise ships as well under the same terms and conditions—not a security officers but as nurses.

Dr STONE: Were the police paid as security officers when they were on board—

CHAIR: In kind.

Dr STONE: or was payment for passage?

Mr Moroney : Yes, the payment was in kind. It was the passage. Where the cruise ship went from Sydney to another port and came back again. In one sense it was almost a free holiday. I do not know if there were ever any startling issues that came out of that. Anecdotally I do not know that it worked all that well, so one of my predecessors, Commissioner John Avery, put a total prohibition on police officers working on cruise ships. Nobody has a problem with them going on there as passengers, but he stopped that level of activity—more in the sense of a corruption prevention measure. I do not know, in hindsight, that they were all that effective.

CHAIR: So in terms of a way forward, you have just heard 10 minutes of evidence about the efficacy of good security systems, recruitment, training. Could you give us your two seconds' worth on the possibility of the sea marshals adding to the safety of passengers «at» sea.

Mr Moroney : If we draw an analogy between sea marshals and air marshals, it is both proactive and a reactive role. The significance of the air marshal role, as I understand it, is that it is a covert role: they only emerge when trouble has occurred. They do not walk up and down the aisles of the plane in a preventative way. Indeed, my understanding of the air marshal role was or is the fact that it is the airline stewards first call in terms of preventative action. The air marshal only emerges out of his or her seat as the issues escalate.

I am not all that convinced that sea marshals would work, because it is like policing land side: it is about the visibility of people engaged in security. It is about the visibility of the police on the street. You know yourselves, you are driving your own car down the street and you look in the rear-vision mirror and there is a highway patrol car behind you, you tend to feel for the seatbelt and you tend to check the speedo, even though you may be stationary. You tend to do all those things because of that awareness of who is around you. One of the important issues of land-based policing, in terms of prevention, then, is about the visibility of the operative. My preference would be to strengthen the role and function of security staff in terms of visibility and their operation and effectiveness rather than deploy covert sea marshals.

CHAIR: We could not have a cop on the beat there, anyway. We cannot have the New South Wales Police officer out there anyway. It would have to be some other representation of authority or the law, anyway, which, effectively, could be a security uniform.

Mr Moroney : Exercising the authority of the captain.

CHAIR: Yes.

Mr Moroney : These things can be made quite clear in marketing literature. It is not a case frightening people with marketing literature, but if I am a potential passenger I would like to know that here on page 8 of the 10-page pamphlet is the fact that there are strong security management arrangements and these security officers operate with the full knowledge and authority of the captain.

CHAIR: Certainly in the US we had evidence that passengers are given clear instructions—a booklet, basically, saying, 'These are the rules we operate under here and this is who to go to if there are problems.' Would that occur on Carnival ships? I am not sure if you were here for the evidence we heard this morning—

Mr Moroney : No, I was not here. It would be useful—more useful than not. There is an analogy there. If you are getting a driver's licence, you are given a book of rules in terms of what the expectations are. So I think, yes, it could be included in an overall marketing brochure, but not in the sense of frightening people.

CHAIR: No.

Mr Moroney : I think people expect security. Elderly passengers look for it and I think younger people have an expectation that, whilst we are here to have a good time, it is not «at» the expense of other passengers. That brings me back to the issue: you can regulate, you can legislate but the most critical issue that is difficult for everybody to overcome, irrespective of the issues «at» all, and that is the acceptance of personal behaviour and conduct. If you find the answer to that I think you are well on the way.

CHAIR: We heard evidence from Carnival this morning that they had sought an exemption under human rights so that they could actually stop schoolie cruises. Did that bridge your time?

Mr Moroney : It was not an initiative of mine. It was something that Ann Sherry spoke to me about and I absolutely endorse. That is a huge commercial decision on the part of Carnival Australia, because young people bring a lot of dollars into any environment. But I think it is a conscious decision taken by Carnival for the greater good of all the passengers and the security of the ship.

CHAIR: I refer to because schoolies has moved to all sorts of places. The Gold Coast is still popular, but there was a death in Fiji last year of a young schoolie, who was actually from my electorate, sadly. I note that Fiji is not a party to the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police protocol, because they were suspended from the PICP in 2007. Would that detract from the effectiveness of the protocol and how does Fiji cooperate with Australian jurisdictions?

Mr Moroney : You are right, yes, in the sense of why Fiji is not a signatory to this. It relates to other considerations. But there is no reason why informal approaches could not ensure that they were part of that. I would think that if there were an incident on a cruise ship of any line and Suva was the first port of call, I would imagine that the police force, as I know them, would provide that level of cooperation. I think police officers, irrespective of where they are from, except perhaps for some countries—

CHAIR: But perhaps not where cruise lines go.

Mr Moroney : Yes, where cruise ships do not go. But I would expect that police officers in Fiji would provide that level of corporation. The nature of the profession makes you do that.

CHAIR: Finally, in terms of these protocols, are there any areas that you think need further examination for reporting «crimes» «at» sea—any opportunities that you would like to flag to the committee?

Mr Moroney : On the protocols observation, in speaking to friends who, as late as yesterday, returned on a cruise and having cruised myself post these reports, I believe the protocols are working. I believe the security management is a far more effective set of arrangements than it was, say, in 2002 and in that period prior to Ann Sherry's appointment, but they are nearing five years old. I think there is probably a need for an effective, independent evaluation of the protocols with a view to making sure that they are contemporary. A bit of fine tweaking, I suspect. If that evaluation were undertaken by an independent source it would add to the validity of any revised or refreshed protocols.

CHAIR: Yes, because I assume, like society, crime changes, processes change, so it is good just to cast the ruler over them and say: 'This is an emerging issue. This is something we need to consider.' Five years ago there would not have been as many laptops involved. There will be new considerations all the time, I guess.

Mr Moroney : Yes, and there are the things that have been done in the introduction of sniffer dogs «at» ports of embarkation, when you are travelling out, and the adoption of responsible service of alcohol on the cruise ships. In terms of the modification of behaviour, I think there is a greater public awareness of what is and is not acceptable, be it on a cruise ship or on an airline or walking down the street. In a sense, though, you cannot regulate every single aspect of human behaviour. It is a continuing challenge, hence my observation of and my support for strengthening the role and function of security officers on the ships. Their knowledgeable background, not simply employing them on the basis of bulk or size, and their capacity to engage particularly the brain with the tongue and, ideally, both «at» the same time is far more attractive to me than sheer brute force, although on some occasions force is necessary. It is about the effective management of crime on those ships and how they are reported and actioned not only on the ship but on the land as well.

CHAIR: Mr Moroney, you do not have to answer this but did you say that Carnival particularly recruits security from India?

Mr Moroney : I cannot speak about in 2013 but certainly that was my observation. My understanding was that a lot of the recruitment of security management staff occurred in and around India. My observation «at» that time, 2008, was that the officer corps were recruited, it seemed, predominantly out of the United Kingdom.

CHAIR: In Queensland we have what is called a blue card check—'Have you been in trouble with the police?' We had evidence today that Carnival checks every year.

Dr STONE: For its childcare staff in particular.

CHAIR: I am just wondering about the thoroughness and validity of background checks. You are employing people from 80 different countries. We have enough problems having similar programs from one side of the Tweed to the other. How do we go in terms of the background checks of people from all around the world? Is that something you have touched on? I know you are only talking about Carnival.

Mr Moroney : Yes. I spoke in 2008 about the need for thorough background checks. If we leap forward to 2013, I think the organisations of the Commonwealth—the Australian Federal Police, Customs and Border Protection, CrimTrac, to name but three organisations—have the ability to undertake those name checks and background checks is far easier and far more comprehensive today. In the absence of knowing what the protocol is in 2013, in terms of any occupation or profession, I imagine it may well be difficult with airlines where crews are flying in and flying straight out, with perhaps a 24-hour turnaround. It may be easier with the cruise ships where my observation in 2008 was that there was a constancy in terms of the crews: you might have moved from cruise ship A to cruise ship B but, by and large, you were still operating in Australian-South-West Pacific waters.

CHAIR: Are they reasonably stable in their turnover of personnel?

Mr Moroney : I think so.

CHAIR: If you are with Carnival you will stay with them, though you might change ships. It is a strange sort of lifestyle, I would imagine.

Mr Moroney : I distinctly recall speaking to some of the staff on the ships and they would have earnt in one year what would have taken them almost a lifetime to earn «at» home.

CHAIR: So they are treating the employment seriously.

Mr Moroney : Oh, yes. I know certainly with Graeme O'Neill's zero tolerance for poor performance, particularly amongst his security staff, that you would have been as quickly off the ship as you came on it.

CHAIR: Would that mean that, if something happens on your watch, you would be more likely to cover up than to report it—if you are going to have your employment terminated whenever the data starts to show that there are some troubles in the ranks?

Mr Moroney : No, I do not think so.

CHAIR: That was a very leading question. I realise that.

Mr Moroney : I think potentially you would be terminated for not bringing issues to notice rather than covering them up. You might cover it up once or twice. Inevitably, as I know from my own background, the truth will surface. It may take a week, a month or a year, but it will surface. So, in that sense, it is that constant renewal of training and lifting the professional standards of the security staff, indeed valuing the security staff amongst the staff of a cruise ship itself. That is why I was so encouraged, as I said, to hear the captain of the ship that I was on—and I do not think it was said for my sake—say who you the security officer represent when you are simply walking through the bar or doing some other activity relevant to your duty. I think it is about the valuing of the job. Indeed, we see that land side, where there has been a complete re-evaluation of security staff. It is not about bulk and brawn anymore; it is about intellectual capacity. Physical capacity is important, given the nature of the confrontations you sometimes deal with.

CHAIR: Sometimes it is necessary to defuse, rather than show bulk, I guess.

Mr Moroney : That is where I saw a couple of women security officers coming to the fore.

CHAIR: In my many hours of spare time, I occasionally am involved with the RAAF. In the RAAF, there is a certain culture about the military police, where they are seen to be outside the Defence Force. What is the perception of security among the chefs and the musicians? My understanding is that security staff are the military police of the ship.

Mr Moroney : I think that is a fair analogy.

CHAIR: Do they keep separate? They are not dancing with the singers and partying with the chefs?

Mr Moroney : No. I did not see that. I know that they are as involved in terms of the security management issues relevant to the staff. If you get inappropriate conduct by staff members—from pilfering, stealing, through to other inappropriate conduct—then certainly, knowing Graeme O'Neill as I do, there is an expectation that (a) you will action that and (b) you will report it. That again has got to be reinforced by the captain in terms of his role as the master of the ship. In that sense, there needs to be a degree of step-back by the security staff, but not step-back to the point where, like military police and like state police, they are isolated. They are isolated, particularly where I work in rural communities. You have got to be able to police. You can only do that in the security context on a ship, or on the land, by being fair and displaying a whole range of attitudes and professional standards yourself.

CHAIR: And people respect the uniform.

Mr Moroney : Yes. You may not like being pulled up for a speeding ticket, but you understand, in the cool light of day, why it has occurred.

Dr STONE: Except there is a difference, isn't there, when you are on a cruise ship, because you have bought your ticket, you are there for a good time and this person who is a security officer is trying to perhaps, from your perspective, come between you and your 14th drink for the night, and you think you are well able to carry it or whatever. I am just saying it is probably more difficult than a speeding fine.

Mr Moroney : It is challenging. I do not know that it is more difficult. It is challenging, but no more than some communities I have worked in. When I had responsibility for Redfern, there was an air that you could have cut the knife with. There was a 'them and us' mentality in that community. That was broken down over time, and we acknowledged that sometimes we the police got it wrong. You have got to be able to do that with an air of openness. You have got to be able to give your officers or security officers sufficient authority to act and sufficient responsibility in the actions they take, and you have got to provide them with adequate training. But, «at» the same time, it is about effective communications. You can do your job as a security officer.

Would you permit me one anecdote? When I spoke «at» the police academy a fortnight ago, to the class that is about to graduate, I gave an example of a small Aboriginal town in which I worked as a young 19-year-old constable. The previous sergeant I will simply describe as a sergeant of the old school. The new sergeant arrived and the first night he was there we got called to the mission. We got surrounded; bricks, flagons and fence palings were thrown «at» us; and a small boy ran in between us. The sergeant took out a packet of musk stick Life Savers and he gave them to the boy. The crowd changed like that. I tell the recruits, 'What did I learn?' I learned you speak to people the way that you want to be spoken to yourself and I never went to the mission without musk stick Life Savers.

In that sense, there was no capsicum spray, there was no taser—because those things were not around. It was the ability—it is the same with these folk—to engage your brain and your tongue, be forceful, be direct and be assertive and, «at» the same time, you can defuse the situation. That is where I have seen particularly Graeme O'Neill take his people. I assume, to varying degrees, other cruise ships have done the same. I have the honest observation that I saw the protocols as a model of best practice. I think that, in the body of work that he has done and is doing in terms of his staff, the protocols certainly serve as that model of best practice.

Dr STONE: I would finally say: would you be amazed if a Dianne Brimble type situation—in terms of the way that crime was handled—ever occurred again in an Australian jurisdiction?

Mr Moroney : I would be very surprised and I would be very disappointed. You can never account for human behaviour in all of its manifestations; but I think that we have come a long way since 2002, in terms of how the cruise ship industry has reinforced these issues. And particularly with organisations like Carnival—and some of the others I have made observations of—the thing that I am encouraged by is not only the enhanced level of recruitment, selection and training of staff but indeed the greater acceptance of responsibility by the organisation itself, reinforced then by the captain.

Dr STONE: Thank you.

CHAIR: Thank you very much for your evidence, Mr Moroney. It was very extensive. Thank you for the expertise that you brought to this area.

Resolved (on motion by Dr Stone):

That this committee authorises publication, including publication on the parliamentary database, of the transcript of the evidence given before it «at» public hearing this day.

Committee adjourned «at 15 : 13