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Monday, 20 March 2017
Page: 1470

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (21:11): I am a bit rusty on my criminal procedure—

The TEMPORARY CHAIR ( Senator Back ): This is not evident up to this point, Senator Xenophon, but it might become so.

Senator XENOPHON: Yes. I think I did criminal procedure in 1981. Minister Tudge, in his contribution in the House of Representatives, said on 10 November 2016:

Criminal prosecution is considered likely to be unsuccessful or ineffective due to the competing priorities of the Australian Federal Police, uncertainty around the legality of services under the—


evidence requirements and the offshore location of gambling operators.

That was in the context of why there had not been any prosecutions for those offshore gambling operators.

Minister, given the track record of zero prosecutions since 2001, how can we be confident that what is proposed here will actually lead to prosecutions? Given the occasions that I and my colleague Senator Kakoschke-Moore have made complaints to ACMA and to the AFP, they just seem to be either gathering dust or not a priority for them even though we have instances where people have been devastated financially. We have heard from the Financial Counselling Australia report that I referred to, that Senator Roberts very articulately referred to, about the devastating effects on people's lives as a result of the enormous losses they have sustained. What assurances do we have that we are not going to be revisiting this bill in 16 years time, when I am long gone from this place, when the minister may still be here as the grey eminence of the Senate—

Senator Fifield: I am grey already!

Senator XENOPHON: Or greyer eminence of the Senate, to tell us that—

Senator Dastyari: Papa Smurf!

Senator XENOPHON: Senator Dastyari said 'Papa Smurf', which is very unkind to smurfs. Can the minister advise us: how can we be assured that this is not just another piece of legislation that will sit there and be pretty much ineffective?