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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3140

Senator GARETH EVANS —On 9 and 10 May Senator Messner asked me questions about the alleged stealing of certain Commonwealth property from Pine Gap which has been the subject of a police investigation. As I promised, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard relevant parts of the letter from the Special Minister of State which records the outcome of that investigation.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

I have now received a report on the matter from the Australian Federal Police ( AFP).

I am advised that on or about 13 November 1983, the AFP Officer in Charge of the Pine Gap Station reported that female demonstrators at Pine Gap had removed the perimeter gate bearing a number of signs. Police recovered the gate but the signs had been detached and were missing. Inquiries made by the AFP have failed to identify the person or persons involved in removing the signs.

However, based on media reports, the AFP understands the signs were apparently subsequently auctioned or raffled on 27 November 1983 at an Australian Labor Party meeting at Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne. Further media reports suggest that this 'auction' was organised by the Hon. Joan Coxsedge, MLC, as part of a fund-raising effort on behalf of the Anti-Uranium Group.

Considering the circumstances surrounding the removal and the difficulty involved in identifying the person or persons who removed the signs, and having in mind the considerable expense that would be incurred, I am advised the AFP decided not to pursue the matter. This decision does not, of course, preclude the AFP from taking further action in the future should information be received indicating the identity of the person or persons involved.