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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5254


Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice and Cabinet Secretary) (19:33): I thank the shadow minister for his question, and it is a fair question. What the shadow minister should appreciate, and I think he does, is that there is a separation between operational matters and policy matters. On taking this responsibility as Minister for Home Affairs one of the first things I did was seek advice from the police commissioner about what it was appropriate to be briefed on, and the commissioner made it very clear to me that he did not think it was appropriate to be briefing me as minister on the regular operations of the Australian Federal Police. This is indeed an operational matter between two agencies. The shadows minister's colleague, who is sitting next to him, would be able to attest to this, that on 16 April we were somewhere between Wau and Salamoa trekking the Black Cap Track, and on my return to Australia I sought a briefing on this matter. I have identified for the shadow minister that I received that briefing. That briefing provided me with the information which the Australian Federal Police have subsequently advised the House on in the forms of estimates last week.