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Thursday, 12 September 1985
Page: 504

Senator DURACK —My question is directed to the Acting Attorney-General, if he is still the Acting Attorney-General, or the Minister representing the Attorney-General. I refer to a report in a newspaper headed `18 tappers get Bowen's blessing'. That puts it more succinctly than I may be able to do. It refers to the fact that the Attorney-General has granted indemnities to at least 18 present and former members of the New South Wales Police Force who may give evidence to the Stewart Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drug Trafficking which is investigating the New South Wales police tapes. How many indemnities have been recommended by the Royal Commissioner to date? How many have been approved by the Attorney-General? Does he still have under consideration further indemnities in this matter? Has the New South Wales Attorney-General taken similar action to indemnify these witnesses from prosecution under State law?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I do not think that I am the Acting Attorney-General. Lionel Bowen has probably arrived back in the country, so I have turned back into a pumpkin. I do not have the information to hand. I will seek it from either the Department or the Attorney-General and will advise the honourable senator accordingly.