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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 123

(Question No. 749)


Senator Vigor asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 4 December 1985:

(1) How many officers of the Australian Federal Police have been detailed to investigate matters related to the presence of the yacht Ouvea:

(a) on Norfolk Island; and

(b) elsewhere.

(2) Are any of these enquiries continuing; if so, how many people are still investigating such matters; if not, how many staff hours were devoted to these matters, when was the investigation completed and upon whose instructions, and what written reports were furnished to the Minister.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Special Minister of State has provided the following reply to the honourable senator's question:

It should be stressed that the investigation into the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior is one begun in New Zealand (NZ) and which was and remained the responsibility of NZ authorities to investigate. The investigation was never within the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) area of responsibility. The honourable Senator would appreciate that the AFP has no basis for making inquiries in Australia except in relation to breaches of Commonwealth law or in response to requests for assistance from overseas agencies. The AFP has extended every co-operation to the NZ authorities in their investigation and it has complied with all requests for assistance.

(1) (a) All three members of the AFP who serve as sworn members of the Norfolk Island Police under the jurisdiction of the Administrator of the Island assisted NZ Police in investigations on the Island during the Ouvea's presence there.

(1) (b) A number of AFP members on duty at the time at Sydney Airport and the AFP's Regional Headquarters in Redfern assisted NZ Police in their investigations in Australia.

(2) AFP ceased any active involvement in this investigation on 17 July 1985. However, there are some AFP enquiries being conducted on behalf of the NZ Police through Interpol.

During the time AFP assisted NZ Police in their investigations, approximately 375 man hours were devoted to those duties.

Briefs were provided on a number of occasions by the AFP on the nature and extent of their involvement in the investigations.