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Thursday, 17 October 2002
Page: 5397


Senator LUNDY (2:25 PM) —My question is to Senator Hill, representing the Prime Minister. Given the Prime Minister's announcement of the establishment of a joint investigative authority to track down the terrorists responsible for the attack in Bali, has the government given consideration to the establishment of a joint authority with Indonesia to better facilitate the identification, preservation and repatriation of the bodies of Australian victims?


Senator HILL (Leader of the Government in the Senate) —I am not sure exactly what is meant by a joint authority. I think Senator Ellison has brought us up to date on the processes that are being adopted for the earliest possible identification and repatriation. The mortuary is now well staffed and includes people whose specialisation is in dealing with disasters of this type. The short answer is that the government has not considered a joint authority but, beyond that, I do not think it would actually assist in the task. I think that the task is being dealt with now as well as it possibly could be.