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Budget 2006 Law enforcement: No missing person’s Database despite Rau, Alvarez.

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SENATOR JOE LUDWIG Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Labor Senator for Queensland

13 May 2005

Budget 2006 Law Enforcement: No Missing Person’s Database Despite Rau, Alvarez

Labor said today it was disappointed in the omission of funding for a crucial National Missing Person’s Database in the Federal Budget, which was also generally lacking in new domestic law enforcement initiatives.

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Senator Joe Ludwig said the Government had promised a database in 1999 but six years on is still to deliver.

“The Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez cases should be all the proof the Government needs that such a database is a vital necessity.”

Senator Ludwig said the overwhelming weight of the Law Enforcement Budget was directed towards overseas operations and he was concerned the Howard Government is not paying enough attention to the problems of domestic crime.

“However, we do welcome the funding in this Budget for a national anti-corruption authority which is long overdue.”

Senator Ludwig said the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity was a good idea to protect public trust and confidence in Australia’s primary law enforcement agencies.

“I’m pleased the Government has finally acted on Labor’s initiative.”

“Clearly, there was a need almost 10 years ago, and it’s taken the Liberals all this time to act.”

A need for the authority was recognised by former Labor Attorney-General Michael Lavarch who requested a review of the complaints and disciplinary system of the Australian Federal Police and the National Crime Authority almost 10 years ago.

“Labor has the highest respect for the offices of Customs and the AFP and supports their work. An independent authority will help to maintain their already high standards.” For further information contact: Joe Ludwig 0418 887 525 or Carly Hefford 0417 308 144