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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1630


Mr PEACOCK —My question is directed to the Special Minister of State. I remind the Special Minister of State--


Mr Steedman —Give the back benchers a go.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Casey.


Mr Cadman —Warn him. You have warned us. Why don't you warn him?


Mr SPEAKER —I warn the honourable member for Mitchell.


Mr PEACOCK —I remind the Minister that at the end of the last question I asked him I asked how many people were working full time preparing the references. The Minister inferred that 80 per cent of the staff were working on them.


Mr Hawke —He implied. You inferred. Sort it out.


Mr PEACOCK —He implied. Sorry, yes, I accept that. He implied that 80 per cent of the staff were working on them. Is it a fact that the Attorney-General has indicated that only one person is working full time preparing the references? Just what is the situation? I ask again: How many people are working full time preparing the references?


Mr YOUNG —I did not mean for the Leader of the Opposition to misunderstand what I said. I said that 80 per cent of the staff of the Costigan Royal Commission into the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union have now transferred to the National Crime Authority. I did not want to leave him with the impression that 80 per cent of the staff were working on the preparation of the references.


Mr Peacock —As the Prime Minister said, he thought you had implied that also.


Mr YOUNG —I am aware of the answer given by Senator Evans. I have not been given any further information by the National Crime Authority as to the number of people working on them. As I said in debate this morning, I am not sure how much work had to be done on the 20 matters that Commissioner Costigan felt could be made references before they went to the Inter-Governmental Committee, but I will find out for the Leader of the Opposition from the National Crime Authority how many people are working on them and give him an answer later in the afternoon.