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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 683

Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General) —by leave-I table the annual and final report of former Special Prosecutor Redlich for the year 1983-84, and make the following statement: The annual and final report of former Special Prosecutor Redlich for the year 1983-84, although dated 12 July 1984, was not received in my office until 31 August 1984. The time that has elapsed to date has not permitted the preparation of an appropriate statement of the Government' s position in relation to the report and, indeed, I am not required by the Special Prosecutors Act 1982 to table this report until the fifteenth sitting day after receipt of the report. Further, I note that the report is lengthy; it makes nearly 60 recommendations covering a wide range of matters, many of which raise issues requiring very careful and deliberate consideration. However, because of the selective and misleading leaking of portions of the report by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Peacock), the Government has decided to table the report forthwith so that it may be read in its entirety. I shall make a more detailed statement responding to the report generally next week.

At this point, I shall make only one observation as to the contents of the report. It relates to Mr Redlich's recommendations for significant amendments to the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983. Shortly after receipt of the report, I gave a copy of it to Mr Ian Temby, QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, as the person charged with the direct responsibilities under that Act. Mr Temby's office and my Department have, in fact, been engaged in recent times in discussions as to the Director's role in civil remedy and pecuniary penalty matters and all concerned are, I understand, satisfied with the recent progress of discussions on this subject. Need I observe that it would be irresponsible to consider amendment of the Act without first obtaining Mr Temby' s views. Mr Temby today advised my Department that he will provide those views next week.

Senator Peter Baume —Are there copies of the report available?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I believe copies have been made available and will be circulated to honourable senators in the usual way. I have no reason to believe to the contrary.