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Thursday, 2 June 1994
Page: 1204

Senator McKIERNAN —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Attorney-General. Has the minister been acquainted with the fact that a former councillor of the city of Wanneroo, David Anthony King, pleaded guilty to official corruption in the Perth District Court on Monday of this week for attempting to seek $20,000 from a developer? Is the minister aware that Mr King, in admitting guilt, implicated the former mayor of the city of Wanneroo, Dr Wayne Bradshaw? Is the minister further aware that the WA Director of Public Prosecutions, John McKechnie, QC, said that `King's evidence gave the crown the evidence it needed to prosecute Dr Bradshaw, and extradition proceedings to return him to WA could be considered'? In the light of this evidence, will the Attorney-General cooperate with and assist the Western Australian Attorney-General, Mrs Cheryl Edwardes, and the Western Australian Director of Public Prosecutions to extradite Dr Bradshaw from the Maldives and return him to Australia to answer questions on the above matters and on related matters raised in the Kyle inquiry into the city of Wanneroo?

Senator BOLKUS —The Attorney-General informs me that he is aware through press reports of the court proceedings referred to in the question. The Attorney-General is the only authority who can request a foreign government to extradite a person. The Attorney-General considers making such a request only when asked to do so by the relevant authorities of a state, territory or the Commonwealth. I am further informed that, unless there is some reason in the public interest to announce that a request has been made, it is not the normal practice to make public whether a request has been made or is under consideration. The reason for this practice, of course, is to avoid alerting persons whose extradition might otherwise be sought.

  I therefore cannot comment on whether or not a request has been made by the Western Australian authorities for the Commonwealth to seek the extradition of Dr Bradshaw. However, the Attorney-General says he can assure the Senate that, provided any request for assistance made to it complied with the relevant legal requirements, the Commonwealth would not stand in the way of any attempt by the prosecuting authorities of Western Australia to seek the return to Australia of any person required to face a charge for an offence under Western Australian law.