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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23411

Mr McClelland asked the Minister representing the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 19 August 2003:

(1) What functions and powers do the Australian Federal Police have in policing child abduction, including cases involving non-compliance with family law orders.

(2) What funding and resources do the Australian Federal Police currently allocate to these functions.

Mr Ruddock (Attorney-General) —The Minister for Justice and Customs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The AFP contributes to the execution of a variety of Family Law Court Orders, Australia wide and often with the assistance of state and territory police outside major metropolitan areas. This includes the recovery within Australia, and at Australian international airports during attempts to remove children from Australia, and the return of children to custodial parents. The AFP also contributes to the execution of Hague Convention Orders. These matters mentioned are those the AFP most often deals with in relation to alleged abduction or non compliance with family law orders.

(2) The AFP is funded under the Commonwealth Budget Framework at an Outcome level and thus is not funded at a specific activity level. The AFP through its management process, including the Case Categorisation Prioritisation Model, determines the resources to direct into specific investigations. The AFP operates with a flexible teams approach, deploying investigators and resources as required, in order to optimise the use of its people, resources, and the consequent outcomes achieved. During the 2002/2003 financial year, 24,454 hours were attributed to AFP handling of Family Law Order matters.