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Wednesday, 4 August 2004
Page: 25635

Senator LUNDY (2:52 PM) —My question is to Senator Kemp, the Minister for the Arts and Sport. In light of all the circumstances regarding doping and injection practices on AIS premises, can the minister now inform the Senate whether he has full and unqualified confidence in all actions undertaken by the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian Sports Commission since the discoveries made at Del Monte in December last year? Has the Anderson report given the minister any cause for concern about how these matters have been handled by Commonwealth agencies under the minister's responsibility?

Senator KEMP (Minister for the Arts and Sport) —Senator Lundy will of course be referring to a case which has received very substantial press coverage in recent times. I have indicated to this chamber on a number of occasions that this is a difficult issue which has not been made easier by the leaking of confidential material that may have appeared before courts and because of the allegations that have been made. I have a lack of confidence, Senator Lundy, in the way you and some of your colleagues have handled this and because of the willingness to air material which sometimes is not appropriate.

The assurance I have received from the Sports Commission is that these investigations have been carried out in an entirely appropriate fashion. Senator Lundy, you will take some comfort from that fact because, of course, you are entirely critical of anything that the Australian Sports Commission does. You have a particular set against the Australian Sports Commission, in part because it opposed your plan to put a four-lane highway through the front of the Australian Sports Commission, which would have ruined it. You have a particular grudge against the Sports Commission. I have received assurances that the Sports Commission has carried out its particular role as it should have, but this matter will be the subject of an inquiry.

You would be aware that recently I asked former justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia Robert Anderson to have an inquiry into this matter. There were three parts to the inquiry. The first part has been dealt with and the report has been tabled in this parliament. The second part of the inquiry—

Senator Faulkner —Is it concluded? Own up!

Senator KEMP —Senator Faulkner, you too are entitled to ask a question, but you should stand up and follow proper procedure.

The PRESIDENT —Minister, ignore the interjections and address your remarks to the chair. Senator Faulkner, come to order.

Senator KEMP —The second part of the inquiry relates to duty of care issues at the AIS, and Robert Anderson will report on that matter. The third matter to be inquired into is how this matter was in fact handled. Senator Lundy, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that a very distinguished juror in this country is examining these issues, not in the light of trying to damage people or make political points but in seeking to ensure that these matters are handled in an appropriate fashion. He will be reporting at the end of October and then, on the basis of that report, we will see whether or not the allegations you have made have any substance.

Senator LUNDY —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I hope the minister is able to answer this question. Is the minister satisfied that the Sports Commission took all appropriate actions at the proper time in relation to the appropriate handling of evidence from Del Monte, in particular the DNA testing of material in the sharps bucket? Given the effects of delay in the DNA testing, what action has the minister ordered regarding the proper securing and analysis of other evidence, including payment and ordering records contained on Del Monte's computers?

Senator KEMP (Minister for the Arts and Sport) —There has been an independent inquiry into these matters, initially under Mr Stanwix. Following the allegations made at the end of May about naming five athletes, a further inquiry was instituted under Robert Anderson, who was charged to investigate and report on these matters. Further, these matters will be considered in relation to the other two terms of reference that have been given to Robert Anderson. Frankly, before we make accusations about people and attempt to damage institutions and traduce the reputations of people, which you are so happy to do, let us see what Robert Anderson produces. He is investigating these very matters which Senator Lundy has raised in this parliament. Let us wait for his report. (Time expired)