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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Page: 4028


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (12:39): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The government does not support this motion. The issues surrounding the oil for food program have been the subject of numerous inquiries, including a UN investigation headed by former US Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, and subsequently a royal commission in Australia, headed by the Hon. Terry Cole. The AFP's oil for food task force was subsequently established in 2006 and in August 2009 was ceased on advice from Paul Hastings QC on the basis of the prospects of any successful convictions were limited.

The AFP has answered extensive questions regarding the oil for food task force before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and in questions on notice. Unfortunately, I understand the Greens member of that committee was not present when the AFP were questioned, which may explain the bringing forward of this motion today. The government is firmly of the view that a referral of this kind would be a waste of the committee’s resources.

Question agreed to.