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Thursday, 2 June 1994
Page: 1204

Senator BOSWELL —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Justice. On Tuesday, the Minister told the Senate that the National Crime Authority and the Australian Federal Police had been informed about the CJC and the Queensland police investigation involving a state criminal offence. On what dates was the Minister for Justice first advised that the NCA and the AFP had been informed of a CJC and Queensland police investigation involving prostitution, organised crime and a Labor minister?

Senator BOLKUS —I think the words of my answer were that the Minister for Justice advised me that on 29 March his office was asked by two journalists whether the NCA was investigating the matter which was the subject of the allegations. That is what he was asked by journalists. I then said subsequently that both the NCA and the AFP, when asked, informed my office that they were not investigating this matter. I did not give a precise date. I presume that it was very soon after 29 March, if not on 29 March. I will find that out for Senator Boswell.

Senator BOSWELL —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I asked not when the minister spoke after the journalists, but when was the first date that the Minister for Justice was advised. I also ask: if there were no federal offences involved, why were federal agencies advised and why did they in turn advise the federal minister of the CJC and Queensland police investigations?

Senator BOLKUS —My understanding is that the first the Minister for Justice knew about it was on 29 March or soon thereafter. As I said earlier, I will clarify that. As to why the CJC chose to brief the AFP or the NCA, I do not know. As to why the CJC is leaking this information, I do not know either.