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Notice given 18 September 2006

2495  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2127 concerning the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation of matters related to the airspace management contract between Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) Did the AFP investigation consider whether a breach of Commonwealth, state or territory or Solomon Islands law occurred, or was the scope of the investigation limited to determining whether a breach of Commonwealth law occurred.

(2) What additional material was made available by Airservices Australia in May 2006 which resulted in a renewed investigation of this matter by the AFP.

(3) Was any evidence of a breach of Commonwealth law found in the course of the 2005 and 2006 investigations; if so: (a) can details be provided; and (b) why was this evidence not sufficient to support a charge of criminal conduct.

(4) Was any evidence found of a breach of state or territory law, or Solomon Islands law; if so, can details be provided.

(5) Were any foreign public officials interviewed during the course of the 2005 and 2006 AFP investigations.

2496  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2127 concerning the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation of matters related to the airspace management contract between Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) What additional material was made available to the AFP by Airservices Australia in May 2006 which resulted in a renewed investigation of this matter.

(2) What was the source of the new material.

(3) When was the new material discovered.

(4) When was the discovery of the new material brought to the attention of: (a) the Minister and/or the Minister’s office; and (b) the department.

 

 (5) When the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia, Mr Greg Russel, issued a media release on 23 June 2006 stating that an ‘Australian Federal Police investigation in 2005 did not identify any information or activity that constituted an offence’ why did Mr Russel fail to disclose that: (a) in May 2006, Airservices Australia had requested a review of the previous investigation due to the discovery of additional material; and (b) a further investigation had been initiated.

(6) When the Minister issued a media release on 23 June 2006 announcing that ‘Internal and external investigations conducted to date have identified that Airservices Australia and its staff acted in good faith in administering this contract’, why did the Minister fail to disclose details of the 2005 AFP investigation and the referral of additional information in May 2006.

2497  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the airspace management contract between Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) What was the commencement date of the Airservices Australia internal investigation that found that, between 1998 and 2003, contract payments totalling $2.2 million had been made to third parties.

(2) When did the internal investigation conclude.

(3) Who conducted the internal investigation.

(4) When was the report of the internal investigation provided to: (a) the Minister and/or the Minister’s office; and (b) the department.

(5) Can a copy of the report be provided; if not, why not.