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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 660

(Question No. 3926)

Dr Klugman asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 6 May 1986:

(1) What has been the cost to the Commonwealth of the Social Security Fraud Trial involving members of the Greek Community?

(2) What further costs are expected?

Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Exhaustive costing of the proceedings is not available. The Commonwealth's disbursements for its own legal expenses were $2,733,852 and legal aid disbursements up to February 1982 amounted to $1,030,833. The Minister for Social Security stated the cost to the Commonwealth in June last as being more than $10 million and I would certainly not disagree with that figure. I am not however aware of any comprehensive and detailed calculation of the cost and do not think it would be desirable to deploy further resources in order to obtain such a calculation.

(2) Dame Roma Mitchell estimated that the cost of implementing her recommendations was $7,406,337, including an amount of $1,239,287 for costs of the three medical practitioners and the clinical psychologist in the committal proceedings and proceedings associated therewith. The Government has agreed to implement these recommendations. No estimate has been made of costs involved should claimants not settle their claims in accordance with the recommendations.