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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 37

(Question No. 909)

Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 18 February 1986:

(1) Was Mr Lloyd Errol Faint, who is supposed to be serving a 2 year jail sentence at Numinbah Prison Farm for large scale tax fraud, accompanied to the Bundamba racetrack in Queensland on 22 January 1986 by a Commonwealth Officer, and driven in a Commonwealth car.

(2) What was the Commonwealth Officer's name and rank in the public service.

(3) Was any charge subsequently laid against the Commonwealth Officer.

(4) Have visits by Commonwealth Officers to see Mr Faint, and escort him backwards and forwards from Numinbah been frequent, as according to newspaper reports, and what has been the purpose of such excursions.

(5) Who authorised them, and upon whose suggestion.

(6) Has any positive evidence been forthcoming from Mr Faint as a result of these excursions from Numinbah which has resulted, or in the future might result, in further prosecutions for income tax fraud or the identification of `bottom of the harbour' tax evasion schemes.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

I have been advised by the Director of Public Prosecutions as follows:

(1) Mr Lloyd Errol Faint pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth and was sentenced to a term of 2 years imprisonment which commenced on 9 May 1985. On 21 January 1986 Mr Faint was accompanied by a temporary Commonwealth Officer to the Bundamba racetrack in Queensland.

(2) The officer's name is James Nihill North and at the relevant time he held the position of a temporary clerical administrative officer, class 8, in the Brisbane Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(3) No criminal proceedings were instituted against Mr North. However, as a result of the incident disciplinary action was immediately taken, and Mr North's services were dispensed with.

(4) Mr Faint has been required on numerous occasions to attend the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for the purpose of preparing statements and to attend court proceedings in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth to give evidence in criminal matters on behalf of the Crown.

(5) The attendances were authorised by the Superintendent of Her Majesty's Prison, Numinbah, following requests by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The visit to the Bundamba racetrack on 21 January 1986 was not authorised.

(6) Mr Faint's evidence has been of substantial assistance in the committal proceedings and trials of other persons involved in `bottom of the harbour' tax evasion schemes. However, the evidence of Mr Faint has not resulted in any further prosecutions or the identification of other tax evasion schemes.