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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 668


Senator HILL —My question follows that asked by Senator Bolkus. I ask the Attorney-General: Is it true, as alleged by former Special Prosecutor Redlich in extracts of correspondence with the Attorney published today, that Mr Redlich was not consulted about the form and role of the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions? Somewhat in conflict with what the Attorney has just said, does the Attorney agree with Mr Redlich that 'such shabby treatment is deserving of censure'?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I do not think that is a correct assessment of the situation. Mr Redlich does have a record on occasions in correspondence of referring to shabby treatment at departmental level. He has not yet made any such allegation at a ministerial level against me. From time to time there have been misunderstandings. Over the last two or three years there has been a somewhat volatile relationship between Mr Redlich and, I think, all sorts of people. I refer in particular to the relationship between Mr Redlich and Mr Costigan which was the subject of extravagant newspaper attention last year, and Mr Redlich's views about Mr Costigan's Royal Commission on the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union, as expressed in his report leaked, through sources that can only remain to be guessed at, a day or two ago in which a contrary view was put. These are simply the ups and downs of normal professional relationships in difficult and sensitive areas such as this. They are the product of occasional frustrations that do arise. I believe that Mr Redlich has been amply consulted on all the key policy, administrative and law enforcement questions that have arisen during his tenure. I have the greatest appreciation for his work and I think by and large that has been reciprocated.