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Friday, 26 May 1989
Page: 2821


Senator HILL(10.21) —I would like to press the matter a little further, because although the Minister's information is helpful to a point, it really does not give us much idea as to what real progress has taken place in the whole exercise. Those of us who were engaged in the Senate inquiry on this matter, which was nearly 18 months ago, took evidence from Mr Greenwood who was even at that stage conducting his inquiries in Eastern bloc countries and building up evidence to put before the DPP. As I have just said, it is now almost a year and a half on and there has been a very large expenditure of Commonwealth money. We have had the reappointment of Mr Greenwood for a further year. We know that there is still a very large number of what are described as current matters, but we do not know whether there is any progress being made in relation to any of those investigations.

I hope that what the Minister has said is correct, that this is not a political exercise. Nevertheless, at this stage of the exercise a significant number of people's lives are being very much affected by this investigatory process, which does not seem to be coming to any finality. I again invite the Minister to give the chamber some idea as to what progress is being made in the processing of this large amount of evidence in relation to a significant number of potential defendants and involving still nearly 300 current cases.