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Monday, 30 October 2000
Page: 21589

Mr BEAZLEY (2:48 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. Minister, do you recall telling this House on 10 October that:

... the details on the card and the PIN have come into the possession of people unknown to me.

Do you also recall telling the AM program on 16 October, the morning after the Solicitor-General had revealed the existence of Ms X, that:

Well, I knew about Ms X. It was pretty obvious to me all along that this person had taken those details and effectively defrauded the Commonwealth.

Minister, if Ms X was unknown to you on 10 October, why did she suddenly become known to you all along on the 16th?

Mr REITH (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business) —I have provided the House with the details of which I was aware and I have provided the police, obviously, with a full statement. In the intervening period the Solicitor-General, for the first time, provided me, and the public obviously, with the public release of his report, with a summary of the events which he believed had transpired. Based on what the Solicitor-General said, it is entirely consistent. I provided the police with the information which I was aware of. It was then a matter for the police to investigate, which was the point I have made in the House when I was asked about it. The police did investigate. The matter did go to the Director of Public Prosecutions. It then went to the Solicitor-General. The Solicitor-General made a statement. That contained a statement of the facts. If my memory serves me correctly, that was after the parliament had risen. That was on the Sunday, and I responded to that.