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Monday, 28 October 1996
Page: 4550

Senator WOODLEY —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. How many members of the Australian military police have been identified as present during a police raid on a charity concert conducted by Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ in West End on 19 October? Was the presence of those army police at odds with military guidelines regarding their involvement in civilian inci dents? Is the government concerned that members of the Queensland police force seemed to be under the impression that they can call in the army at their discretion even when doing so could be a breach of army guidelines? Does the defence minister consider the calling in of military police to assist 60 members of the Queensland police force to move on a youth concert a case of overkill?

Senator NEWMAN —Senator Woodley did me the courtesy of alerting me just before question time to the fact that he was going to ask me a question about this matter. I have, therefore, approached the Minister for Defence for a response. Senator Woodley, I am advised by the minister that military police were involved in the incident at Musgrave Park in Brisbane on 19 October and that they attended the incident because they were on a joint patrol with elements of the Queensland police. I am informed that the involvement of the military police at the incident was minimal and that the matter has, in fact, been formally investigated, and the investigating officer's report will be passed to the Minister for Defence shortly.

Senator WOODLEY —Madam President, I ask a supplementary question. If it is found that military police in fact did not follow their own guidelines and breached them, what disciplinary action would be taken against military police who were present at that concert?

Senator NEWMAN —The minister would, in the normal course of events, receive recommendations with the report. I imagine he will be making decisions based on those recommendations and the defence disciplinary powers.