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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 663

Senator JESSOP —Is the Attorney-General aware of the view of Commissioner Frank Costigan that the limitations of the National Crime Authority Act make it ' difficult, if not impossible' to draft references of matters left over from the Costigan Royal Commission into the Activities of the Federal Ship Painters and Dockers Union to the new National Crime Authority? Is this task now being tackled within his Department or by the team of apparently part time lawyers headed by Mr Phillip Cummins, QC? In view of the painfully slow progress which appears to have been made and the stalled investigation of national organised crime, will the Attorney-General introduce, as a matter of urgency, an amendment to the National Crime Authority Act to facilitate the delivery to the Authority by way of the Inter-governmental Committee of all outstanding matters from the Costigan Commission?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I am aware of the criticisms and the views that have been expressed about the Crime Authority by Mr Costigan over a long period prior to its establishment. I am not aware of any present rational foundation for criticism of the handover process of the kind the honourable senator has just advanced and I will not introduce any amendment along the line he is proposing.