DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS AND DENISE WALTERS APPEAL
Mr ANDERSON: Will the Attorney General, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Arts ascertain why no evidence was offered by the Director of Public Prosecutions on the appeals lodged by Denise Walters against a bond for supplying heroin and a gaol sentence for goods in custody? Why were the arresting police directed not to attend the appeal? Why, when the appeals had been pending for several years, were they suddenly listed on a Friday afternoon?
Mr COLLINS: As I think I have said before in this House in answer to similar questions in relation to decisions by the Director of Public Prosecutions, not since the inception of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has the Attorney General overturned a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions. I would be quite happy to look at the claims made by the honourable member for
Liverpool and to obtain an answer for him. However, I think it is worth remembering - all members from time to time have constituents asking why the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided one way or another - that not since the inception of the office has an Attorney overturned a decision by the DPP. Though there is a reserve power for the Attorney to do that, it should not be exercised lightly. The establishment of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was undertaken only after decades of allegations in this House about political interference in the prosecuting process. I note the matters raised by the honourable member for Liverpool and I will give him an answer as soon as possible.