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Wednesday, 12 September 1984
Page: 1118

Mr CROSS —Can the Prime Minister assure the House that the Government will continue to assist Mr Commissioner Costigan in every way to ensure satisfactory completion of his final report?

Mr HAWKE —I can indeed provide that assurance to all honourable members. Today I have received a letter from Mr Costigan requesting an extension of his letters patent until 31 October 1984. I will take the appropriate steps to secure accession to that request made to me by Mr Commissioner Costigan. Mr Costigan in his letter notes that the extension will not affect the establishment of the National Crime Authority. He also states:

I know that you and your government are anxious that I should deliver my report as soon as possible. I share that desire.

I have already indicated to the House that the Government is committed to the earliest possible release of the report. That is a matter on which I will have further discussions with Mr Costigan and my ministerial colleagues. I make the point that should the Parliament not be sitting then the Government will seek to take such steps as will permit the appropriate public release of the report of Commissioner Costigan. As I have said consistently in relation to all his previous reports, we are looking forward eagerly to the publication of his final report. Finally, Mr Speaker, I table the letter I have received today from Mr Commissioner Costigan.