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Tuesday, 18 October 1983
Page: 1813

Mr STEELE HALL —My question is directed to the Special Minister of State. Has the Federal Police completed the major part of its investigation into drug trafficking which disclosed the covert relationship between a prominent racing identity associated with drug traffickers and the New South Wales Minister for Corrective Services? Will the Minister table in this House transcripts of the relevant tapes and the name of the prominent racing identity so that the New South Wales Minister may cease his association with that person? Will the Minister assure the House that all information, including photographs which are being gathered by the Australian Federal Police relating to the allegations against a New South Wales Minister, have in fact been passed to the New South Wales Government and the New South Wales Police Commissioner?

Mr BEAZLEY —I am not aware of the exact point reached in the investigations related to drug trafficking and narcotics operations which were in process when the telephone taps revealed information related to possible breaches of New South Wales law. I will look into that matter and give the honourable gentleman a reply on it. It is not my intention to table in the House the transcripts of telephone conversations. As honourable gentlemen will be aware, a very strict procedure has been established for the way in which materials garnered in the course of telecommunications interception in relation to narcotics offences are handled. It remains within the discretion of the Commissioner of Police as to precisely how they should be used. It is not my intention to interfere with the Police Commissioner's judgment in that regard. The same strictures would apply to the third part of the question asked by the honourable gentleman as applied to my answer to the second part of his question. If any further information can be made available I will let the honourable gentleman know.