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Questions must be answered-customs

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Media Release Geoff Prosser M.P. FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FORREST

S hadow M inister for Small Business, Housing a n d Customs.


24 January 1992


With only one of the Chinese "boat people" remaining to be found, it is now time for the Minister for Customs to advise on exactly how much the search has cost the taxpayer.

To date, the Australian Customs Service have been evasive about both the details and cost of the search. Indeed, a member of my staff was met with a blank refusal by ACS public relations when trying to obtain verbal details about the conduct and cost of the search.

This of course begs the question "what is the Australian Customs Service trying to hide?".

The Minister must advise whether the cost of the search is to be funded out of the existing Coastwatch Budget, thereby reducing resources available for coastal surveillance over the remainder of the financial year, or whether it will be funded from a separate Australian Customs Service Budget allocation.

The Minister for Customs must also make public the findings of the his Department's internal inquiry, the recommendations of the inquiry and any subsequent action to be taken.

Finally, the Minister must act to reassure the Australian public that this was a one-off event and that the security of our country will not be put at risk again.

ends. Canberra COMMONWEALTH


CONTACT: Geoff Prosser Karen Kuschert (097) 91 1146 (06) 277 4717