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Tuesday, 10 May 1994
Page: 491

Senator BOSWELL —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Justice. Yesterday I asked whether the Minister for Justice or the Attorney-General had been briefed by the National Crime Authority or the Federal Police on the CJC investigation of organised crime involving one of Australia's most powerful Labor figures and a prostitute. The minister replied that neither the Australian Federal Police nor the National Crime Authority was `investigating any allegations relating to the person involved', nor had the Federal Police `provided any assistance or information', nor had it been requested by the Queensland authorities. This did not answer my question. I ask again: has the Minister for Justice or the Attorney-General been briefed on the matter by the Federal Police or the National Crime Authority?

Senator BOLKUS —There seems to be a continuation of this perverse interest on the other side. In answering the question yesterday, I told Senator Boswell that my understanding of the operations of the CJC is that it is governed by privacy provisions. One of those provisions ensures that information cannot be released by the CJC to any other body. By implication, that means no-one else has been briefed, but I will double check that for Senator Boswell and let him know.

Senator BOSWELL —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. In this investigation have any resources of the National Crime Authority, including its surveillance resource, been applied jointly with the Criminal Justice Commission or any other law enforcement agency in Queensland?

Senator BOLKUS —I made it very clear yesterday, and Senator Boswell made it clear in his question today when he quoted what I said yesterday, that the NCA has not been involved. Why does Senator Boswell not get on to something better, some issues that might be of concern to people? Why does he trawl in the Bob Katter gutter, following Grant Tambling? This sort of issue gives him a reputation that, knowing him, he does not deserve.