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Tuesday, 4 September 1984
Page: 394

Senator MISSEN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Special Minister of State. The question also concerns the hand-over from the Costigan Royal Commission on the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union to the National Crime Authority-which I hope the Attorney-General is still interested in. Is it a fact that Mr Costigan has suggested that more than 40 references be made to the Authority to continue the fight against organised crime, which he has so successfully pioneered? Secondly, how many of these proposed references related to the past or present activities of Mr Kerry Packer ?

Senator GARETH EVANS —It is the case, in my recollection, that something over or around 40 references have been proposed for the attention of the Crime Authority by Mr Costigan in summarising and drawing together the various activities and investigations on which his Commission has previously been working. How many of those will in fact prove to be appropriate for further full scale, coercive investigation using the full powers available to the Authority is, of course, a matter for the Authority and the Inter-Governmental Committee to consider and decide upon. I understand that a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee, which will be the subject of a preceding full report from the Authority, is proposed for a matter of just a few days or a few weeks away. I shall find out what I can about the timing of that and advise the honourable senators accordingly. As to the content of any individual proposed reference, I think it would be quite inappropriate to speculate on that or to give any information at all to the honourable senator on the subject of investigations involving the particular named gentleman or anyone else.