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Hill welcomes Gillespie Inquiry, but says terms too limited



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Tuesday, September 8 81/92

HILL WELCOMES GILT.KSPTK INQUIRY. BUT SAYS TERMS TOO T.TMTTKD

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Robert Hill, welcomed today's announcement of an inquiry into the search for the Gillespie children, but said the terms of reference were too limited.

The announcement follows Senator Hill's statement on August 20 that he would seek to establish a Parliament airy inquiry into the shortcomings of the search if the Government failed to initiate a full investigation into the matter.

"I welcome the Government's announcement of an inquiry into the actions of Australian law enforcement authorities in the search for the Gillespie children," Senator Hill said.

"But the terms of reference for the inquiry are too limited and fail to address some of the key issues arising out of the incident.

"It does not appear that the inquiry will do anything to stop a similar incident from occurring again.

"I have two main areas of concern about the terms of reference.

"Firstly, it seems that the inquiry has not been asked to look at or recommend changes to the practice and co-ordination of agencies to ensure that the mistakes that occurred during the search for the Gillespie children are not repeated.

"Secondly, the inquiry has not been asked to investigate and advise on the level of resources committed to the search by the Australian Federal Police and customs.

"This is of great concern because there have been allegations that these resources were insufficient.

"I hope that the inquiry's report into this incident goes beyond the current terms of reference and looks at these very important issues.

"The objective of the inquiry should be to critically assess the role and co-ordination of law enforcement authorities to ensure that a similar incident is not allowed to occur again."

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Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170