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Comments by John Elliott

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A number of people are now before the courts on serious criminal charges and it would be inappropriate to comment on any matter which may be relevant to those proceedings.

However some general points need to be made in response to the widely-reported comments by John Elliott on Melbourne television last night.

Firstly, the National Crime Authority is not unaccountable. It is established by an Act of Federal Parliament and is responsible to the Parliament through the Minister for Justice. Under the Act an Inter Governmental Committee of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers consults on matters referred to the NCA by the

Commonwealth Minister, considers whether matters should be referred from a State or States and generally monitors the work of the Authority.

The Act also establishes the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the NCA which reports to both Houses of Parliament on the NCA’s performance and Annual Report as well as trends and changes in criminal activity, practices and methods and any other relevant matter referred to it by either House.

Secondly, electronic surveillance by the NCA is subject to the same restraints as other Federal, State or Territory law enforcement agencies. The NCA must satisfy a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia that the use of a telephone intercept is justified. In the case of listening devices, the NCA is governed by the in-built checks and balances

of any relevant State legislation.

Media Contact: Simon Overland Minister’s Advisor (06)2777260


Parliament House, Canbena, A.C.T. 2600, Tel. (06) 2 7 7 7260 Fax (06) 273 4136