Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1101

Senator MacGIBBON —I address my question to the Attorney-General. Is the National Crime Authority investigating in any way the material passed to it by the Costigan Royal Commission on the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union or is that material still in the process of being sifted through by Mr Phillip Cummins and his team of part time helpers?

Senator GARETH EVANS —As I have said on numerous occasions, the National Crime Authority has two levels of functioning. One is the conduct of investigations not involving hearings or the use of other forms of coercive power. The second is investigations pursuant to references formally vested in it by the Commonwealth Government or through the intergovernmental committee which do imply the use of coercive powers. It is not the case at the moment that any references have been given to the Crime Authority. So in that sense there are no investigations currently proceeding pursuant to those particular powers. There are, however, a number of forms of investigation proceeding in relation to the Costigan material. That investigation essentially is taking the form of sifting and processing the Costigan information in order to determine priorities and to determine what is appropriate to pursue further by the use of formal references or by other means. There are other investigations proceeding which involve the weighing and sifting of other evidence relating to other matters that have been provided by the Australian Federal Police and other law enforcement agencies around the country.

It is early days yet. We are still in a transitional process. The Crime Authority is not, as I have said, fully staffed yet and will not be until the Costigan Commission completes its report writing. But that process of transition and developing the investigative role is proceeding apace and proceeding very satisfactorily.