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Mick Palmer and Ken Moroney appointed to break deadlock on National Unexplained Wealth laws

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24 June 2013

Mick Palmer and Ken Moroney appointed to break deadlock on National

Unexplained Wealth laws

Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare today appointed

former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer AO APM and former

New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney AO APM to work with the

Federal, State and Territory Governments to break the deadlock on national

unexplained wealth laws.

The appointments come in response to a recommendation of the Police Federation

of Australia to appoint an eminent person’s panel to assist in reaching agreement on

a national approach to targeting unexplained wealth and organised crime.

Mick Palmer is a career police officer with more than three decades of experience in

policing and law enforcement.

He served as Commissioner of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency

Service agency from 1988-1994 and as Commissioner of the Australian Federal

Police from 1994 until March 2001.

Ken Moroney served as a member of the NSW Police Force between 1965 and

2007. Between 2002 and his retirement, Mr Moroney served as the 20th

Commissioner of the NSW Police Force, commanding a force of 19,500 personnel

with an annual budget of $2.2 billion.

Unexplained wealth laws reverse the onus of proof so criminals have to prove their

wealth was obtained legally. It makes it easier to confiscate their assets and is one of

the most effective ways to bring down organised criminals.

“Serious and organised crime is all about money. Money creates power in the

criminal underworld. Most of the criminals are more afraid of losing their money than

they are of going to jail.” Mr Clare said.

“If we are serious about tackling organised crime, one of the key things we have to

do is rip their assets off them.”

National unexplained wealth laws were a bipartisan recommendation of the

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement. The proposal has been put to

State and Territory Attorney’s General twice and been rejected. It was placed on the

agenda at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in April where the States

and Territories again did not agree to reform.

“I hope the appointment of Mick Palmer and Ken Moroney with their deep knowledge

and experience in law enforcement will break this deadlock and lead to strong

national unexplained wealth laws.” Mr Clare said.

Media contact: Ryan Hamilton - 0414 599 468 or Hayley Bester - 0477 365 479