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Monday, 18 March 2013
Page: 2279

Mr HAYES (Fowler) (10:20): Being a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, I too have some comments on the committee's report, Examination of the annual report of the Integrity Commissioner 2011-12.The report shows exemplary performance by the Integrity Commissioner and his staff. I think the organisation has been incredibly effective in addressing the new and expanded areas of responsibility which have been allocated to it by this parliament.

Since I have been on this committee, we have extended ACLEI's coverage from the Australian Federal Police and the ACC to include AUSTRAC, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre; CrimTrac, which does much of the database work for crime management; the biosecurity staff of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and, as the chair of the committee just spoke about, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. We understand that the role of ACLEI is expanding. As a consequence, the committee has recommended additional funding of $1.3 million over the next two years, starting from 2013-14.

As we move to target areas of potential security risk and crime risk in organs of government, it is clear to me that we are moving down a path towards the future formation of an independent commission against corruption covering all government agencies. I do not think that is a bad thing. I think we have a responsibility in this parliament to protect all organs of government—departments and statutory authorities that operate under federal guidance—against the intrusion of crime, particularly serious and organised crime. Much has been said about the recent issues involving the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, but that is an area which was considered high risk—and that is why the commission's role was extended to cover it.

When we look at the issue of corruption and at the various Commonwealth databases which can be used in crime management, it seems to me that fighting corruption does not start and stop with police, designated law enforcement agencies and border and security services. All government enterprises are exposed to the actions of those who aim to engage profitably in corrupt conduct. Regrettably, we are seeing that played out on quite a large scale in New South Wales at the moment.

I compliment Philip Moss, the commissioner, and his team. It is not a very large team but they have worked very effectively with the powers given to them by this parliament to monitor, to investigate and, where necessary, to run controlled operations to detect and disrupt corruption in government enterprises and departments. It is a very hard job. As I have said, it is not a very large team, but they have shown their dedication and commitment to duty. I think they have served this parliament with distinction.

I too would like to congratulate the Integrity Commissioner, Philip Moss, on the extension of his appointment for a further two years. I think that is warranted. He has taken ACLEI from the position where it was first established in respect of the Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police into a new and expanding role. We do need to have a degree of stability while that develops. I am sure that members of this parliament would also have confidence in what he has been able to bring to bear in the last few years of his appointment. I support the report. Could I also congratulate the former chair of the committee, the member for Fremantle, Ms Parke, for the good work she has done in her time as head of the ACLEI committee. (Time expired)