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Wednesday, 11 May 1994
Page: 696

(Question No. 1297)

Senator Ian Macdonald asked the Minister for Justice upon notice on 30 March 1994:

  In response to questions concerning the Department of Transport raised during an Estimates Committee A hearing held on 25 February 1994 (Senate Hansard, Estimates Committee A, 25 February 1994, page 114), Senator Ian Macdonald was advised that his request for information involving the cost of the prosecution against Mr Peter Sheehan for a breach of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for information, but that no response had been received and that a further request had been made for information:

In view of the lack of any response, please advise the cost of legal expenses involved in all prosecutions and actions and other court cases involving the CAA and Mr Peter Sheehan.

Senator Bolkus —The Minister for Justice has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  I am advised that Stephen William Sheehan (also known as Peter Sheehan) was prosecuted for an offence against section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 of operating an aircraft for the purpose of a charter flight from Longreach to Muttaburra and return to Longreach on 18 April 1990 without being so authorised by an Air operation Certificate and for an offence against regulation 54(2) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 in that he did not take such action as was necessary to ensure that the records of an aircraft were kept in accordance with a direction given under the regulations.

  Mr Sheehan was committed for trial on 27 March 1991 and the matter came before the District Court at Longreach for trial on 5 June 1992. This trial was adjourned as Mr Sheehan challenged the Constitutional validity of the section of the Civil Aviation Act under which he was charged. This challenge was later abandoned.

  On 12-13 October 1993 Mr Sheehan was tried before the District Court and acquitted.

  The Director of Public Prosecutions has estimated that the total cost of the prosecution was approximately $18,500, as shown in the attached tables.



1 officer for 1 day plus preparation and travel—1060

First trial:

2 officers for 2 days plus preparation and travel—3550

Preparation for High Court:

1 officer for 3 days—1510

Second trial:

2 officers for 2 days plus preparation and travel—4080

TOTAL: $10,200

(*) Estimated direct costs plus overheads


Filing fee—46.75


Witness fees—160.00

Witness expenses—151.30


First trial:

Witness fees—262.00

Witness expenses—1795.20


Second trial:

Witness fees—395.00

Witness expenses—1431.55


TOTAL: $8279.40