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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2011

Senator KILGARIFF —My question to the Attorney-General relates to the theft of road signs from Pine Gap in the Northern Territory and their subsequent sale by raffle at a meeting of the left wing of the Australian Labor Party held in Melbourne last year. I ask: Who was responsible for running the raffle? Have these people been charged by the police with appropriate charges for selling Government property? Have those people responsible for the theft of the signs been charged with theft? Has the Federal Government intervened in any way on this matter? If not, what action does the Government intend to take-we have been waiting for quite a while-through the use of the Australian Federal Police, say, who it is suggested were in attendance at the auction?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I know that the Victorian branch of the ALP is often characterised in various ways but, as I understand it, the locale for the famous raffle was not a meeting of the left wing of the ALP; it was in fact a State conference of the ALP. I know that in some people's minds those concepts are confused-sometimes they are in my own-but I understand that that was the occasion. The sleuthing of Senator Messner produced that particular result when he raised this major issue a few weeks ago, before the Senate rose. After Senator Messner raised the matter in Question Time on that day and then during the adjournment debate I did refer the matter to the Australian Federal Police for such investigation as they felt able to conduct. At this stage I am still waiting to hear from the Special Minister of State or, for that matter, directly from the Australian Federal Police as to the outcome of those investigations. When the matter is brought to a conclusion or some sort of report is obtained, I will certainly let the honourable senator know.