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Corruption in Australia



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the Minister, in association with the States, consider

setting up laws to ensure health standards in industry and to train and inform workers in the safe handling of

dangerous materials?

SENATOR DURACK - I do not think the question is

appropriately addressed to me because the responsibility for the development of any laws in this area, so far as they may be within the competence and power of the Commonwelth Pariiament would be with other Ministers. I will take note of the question and have it directed to the appropriate Minister, or alternatively Senator Elstob may wish to place

it on notice. .

# * * * *

SENATE No. 17 9 October 1979 Page 1055 - 1056

CORRUPTION IN AUSTRALIA

SENATOR CHIPP - Has the Attorney-General1s attention been drawn to several books written recently which allege corrupĀ­ tion in Australia? In particular I refer to books written by a most courageous experienced journalist, Bob Bottom, and a former senior officer of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Bernard Delaney, which allege that organised crime has now

reached near catastrophic proportions in Australia similar to that prevailing in the United States and that profits to the syndicates each year are running into hundreds of millions of dollars. Is he further aware that it is alleged

in those books that the syndicates are supported by massive

corruption in police forces extending in some States to a

political level? In view of this, is he disturbed by a

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recent statement made by Sir Colin Woods, the new head of

the Australian Federal Police, that there was unnecessary overlapping of work done by the State and Commonwealth Police and government departments and that there was

jealousy and rivalry among them? In view of the serious situation, will the Attorney-General arrange an urgent conference of relevant Commonwealth and State Ministers who

head law enforcement agencies to see whether these problems

can be resolved?

SENATOR DURACK - I am aware of the books referred to by Senator Chipp but I cannot claim to have read them. As I said recently in the Senate, I do not have the opportunity of reading many books these days. I am certainly aware of

the concern that is expressed not only in these books but also by a number of other people. I refer to a question asked in the Senate recently by Senator Puplick concerning

fears of an increase in organised crime in Australia. I think I should refer Senator Chipp and the Senate to the answer that I gave Senator Puplick in relation to his question because it is very much along the same lines. The specific question that Senator Chipp has raised as to whether there is overlapping of police effort in Australia between Federal and State Police or between State police and

so on is not within my immediate responsibility because I am not the Minister responsible for the Australian Federal Police. I will refer that aspect of the question to the Minister for Administrative Services, who is the responsible Minister. Other parts of the question dealing with

allegations of corruption in police forces and so on I believe refer largely to problems within the State area.

Organised crime is one area about which the Commonwealth is particularly concerned, and in conjunction with four States

we set up the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Drugs under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Williams. I anticipate that the report of the Commission, which has been sitting for

about two years, will be submitted reasonably soon. I know that the Commission is well advanced with the preparation of

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the report, which will be the subject of great study and consideration in regard to a lot of the matters that Senator

Chipp has raised.

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11 October 1979

Page 1231 .

. EXPLOSIVES

SENATOR 0 1 BYRNE - My question is directed to the

Attorney-General. I draw his atention to a startling statement made by the Commissioner for Community Relations

that there were 30 racial groupings with an estimated 100,000 members in Australia. Has the Minister been briefed on a recent upsurge in thefts of gelignite and other explosive equipment? It was stated in the 1 Canberra Times' on Saturday that this has resulted in a major security

scare. Does he share my concern that 130 sticks of gelignite discovered hidden in Stromlo Forest had been stolen from the

back of a utility truck left unattended by a Canberra builder. I might add that the truck containing the

explosives was clearly marked as such. Is it not time that the Minister introduced legislation to regulate the purchase, use and storage of explosives in Commonwealth territories and to encourage all States to do likewise?

SENATOR DURACK - That question has a number of parts to it, *

many of which do not concern me directly except in the

overall sense of the problems that may be represented by ,

them. I am not aware of the specific incident of theft to which Senator 0 1 Byrne refers. I will give the question conĀ­

sideration insofar as it concerns my portfolio and refer