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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7311


Mr Abbott asked the Minister for Home Affairs, in writing, on 12 May 2009:

(1)   What role, if any, did the Australian Federal Police or Australian Public Service have in dealing with the death that took place at Sydney Airport on 22 March 2009.

(2)   Were officers of the above services on site or on scene at the time of this incident, and what actions did they take then or subsequently.


Mr Brendan O’Connor (Minister for Home Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   The Australian Federal Police (AFP) provided a timely and comprehensive police response to multiple and simultaneous reports of a large disturbance occurring in Terminal Three of Sydney Airport on 22 March 2009, which resulted in the death of one male. The AFP has provided all necessary assistance to the New South Wales Police Force which has primary responsibility for the ongoing investigation into the affray and associated death.

(2)   AFP officers were not directly within view of the incident when it was initiated however the first officers arrived on scene within one minute of being notified by a member of the public. Within seventeen minutes of the initial disturbance, nineteen AFP officers were on scene, to provide initial response, crime scene preservation, cordon and containment actions, public engagement and statement taking activities. The AFP has formally handed over responsibility for the ongoing investigation to the New South Wales Police Force in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the AFP and New South Wales Police for Cooperation in Relation to Incident Response, Crime and Security Issues at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Sydney Airport). A formal and independent review of the timeliness and appropriateness of the AFP first response was delivered on 7 April 2009 by Mr Roger Wilkins AO, Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department. The “Report of a Review of the AFP’s Response to an Incident at Sydney Airport on 22 March 2009”, concluded that the AFP response was undertaken in accordance with existing standards, procedures and protocols.