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Wednesday, 5 September 1984
Page: 470

Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate) —Mr President, I have to inform the Senate that the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Walsh, has been temporarily detained. In those circumstances I ask that, until his arrival, any question that would normally be directed to him be directed to me-if the questioner has that degree of confidence.


Senator CHANEY —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State. I refer the Attorney-General to his answer to me yesterday in which he revealed that Mr Commissioner Costigan has written to the Government saying that the transition process from his inquiry to the National Crime Authority will fail. Given Mr Costigan's reputation as a pioneer in the battle against organised crime and the concern which his fears of an ineffective hand-over will arouse in the community, will the Minister now table relevant correspondence from Mr Costigan and from Mr Justice Stewart concerning this matter so that all the facts can be made known?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I have discussed this matter with the Special Minister of State. Neither of us sees any reason why the correspondence in question should not be tabled, but we want to check with the parties concerned before we put the matter on the public record. We should be in a position to do that by tomorrow.