ROYAL COMMISSION INTO NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE SERVICE
Consideration of Urgent Motion
(Heffron) [7.58]: I welcome and support the Hatton motion calling for a royal commission into the New South Wales Police Service. In 1989 I believed that ultimately there had to be a full and public inquiry into the Seabeach Mr Bubbles case. I never gave up the hope that one day a royal commission would expose the truth of the largest child sexual assault case in the history of Australia. How naive I was in those days and how little I really knew, but how much I have learned since! What I - not a professional investigator - have found in the intervening years has become a flood of material which convinces me that we must have a royal commission in New South Wales to expose once and for all the truth of a number of matters which are of grave concern, or would be of grave concern to the community if it were aware of what had been happening in those matters.
I wish I had unlimited time because there are a number of matters that I would like to canvass in this debate. However, I will do the best I can in the space of time allotted to me. I hope that the Minister for Police takes note of matters I shall bring forward in this debate. In the past few weeks I have watched the police professional integrity section and the Director of Public Prosecutions stuff up - and I use that phrase advisedly - two cases in the Downing Centre of three detectives involved in an alleged paedophile protection extortion racket. It was the Churchill, Hazel, Wells case, which was successfully divided and we have since seen those people acquitted and walk from the courts. I watched the proceedings in those courts and I was disgusted. I made several comments long before those cases were completed about my views on these matters, and those views have intensified.
I am more than ever convinced that these are matters that need to be thoroughly investigated. Before the case began, the Director of Public Prosecutions and senior officers in the professional integrity branch told one of the chief witnesses in the case, Colin Fisk, that he was not to talk about his nearly 20-year association with Churchill and other detectives even though it was fundamental to the prosecution, and indeed the rationale behind the whole case. They told Fisk it would not be raised by them, and it was not raised. One result of this was that the cases were divided, with the two serving officers - Hazel and Wells - being heard first, and Churchill being heard separately and later. As a result, neither jury heard the entire story so that they could make sense of the allegations.
As a result, the cases failed but the reality was that they were doomed from the start because of the continuing incompetency of the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions, whose motives must now be seen to be deeply suspect. The reality was that this extortion case began when an undercover police officer, who was legally wired for sound, was told by two men - one of whom had no criminal record - about the $40,000 extortion. What was important was that it was unsolicited, high-quality evidence, but that incident was never related to the jury. The tape recording in which the paedophile protection extortion racket is discussed was never played to the jury and I have grave fears that the tape no longer exists. I have grave fears that there no longer exists also other material provided to the police at the time that the paedophile informant first gave a lengthy statement to the police - and I am going back to 1989.
That former police officer was not called to give evidence in either trial, though he would have been happy and willing to testify. That officer would have made an extremely credible witness, but he was not contacted by the professional integrity branch or the DPP, which ran the case. One would have to ask, why? Neither the police officers who could testify to the long association between Fisk and Churchill nor other police officers, including the man in charge of the failed "Mr Bubbles" investigation, Detective Ron Fluit, were called to give evidence. In fact, the professional integrity branch went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the jury did not get to hear about or see that link.
Those parts of Fisk's statement - which was freely available to the magistrate who committed the detectives for trial - which mention Fisk's meeting with other police officers were blacked out. For the information of the Parliament - and, perhaps, the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services, if he has time to pay attention - I am happy to table as evidence the blacked-out copies of the witness's statement. It was blacked out and handed back to the witness. Any mention of the names of other police officers had been expunged from the record of interview that had been taken previously and was of great importance in this case. I am not sure if I am breaking protocol, but the Minister is welcome to see that document. I am absolutely disgusted at what occurred in that case.
I hate paedophiles.
I am rather more concerned about people who protect paedophiles and, in the process, gain financially. When a police task force, imaginatively called "Speedo", was established to investigate this self-confessed paedophile's material, it concluded that corruption existed. However, it was only after I made revelations about the existence of this corrupt paedophile protection racket in this House in September 1990 that the then police Minister, the Hon. E. P. Pickering, established the task force and called on the Independent Commission Against Corruption to oversee the investigation. I have always maintained that the then Minister for Police did that for two reasons - one, to silence me; and, two, to cover his backside in case the truth came out on a future occasion. I have made that clear in the intervening years.
We all hate paedophiles.
Well, I wish someone would stop talking about it and do something, for a change. In fact, the ICAC had very serious questions to answer. Mr Minister, could I retrieve that document for the purposes of the debate? I will be happy to provide it later. Even though the then Minister said that the ICAC would oversee the police task force, ICAC officers attended only two of the scheduled three-monthly task force review meetings before concluding that they were satisfied with the police investigation. Even more important, the ICAC had every opportunity to independently investigate these serious allegations of police corruption and the paedophile networks, but declined to do so. That is why I am concerned that in May 1994, following the resolution of this House on 18 November calling for a judicial inquiry, no inquiry has been set up. Lengthy negotiations have taken place but no judicial inquiry has been set up. We do not have a judicial inquiry but we have terms of reference for the matter to be heard by the ICAC.
It is with the ICAC.
It may be at the ICAC, but nothing has happened. I assure the Minister that I have made contact in recent days -
What did they say?
We have no one set up to take over this matter. The interim commissioner has his hands full with other matters and was not aware of what was happening in this case.
He was not aware?
He was aware, but he is involved in handling other matters. I am very concerned that this reference was made to the ICAC. I have never believed that the ICAC is the appropriate body to handle this matter. I believe that the ICAC has some questions to answer in relation to the way it handled the earlier investigations, following the then Minister taking material to the ICAC in September of 1990. In 1991 the ICAC independently received allegations of police corruption from convicted armed robber and murderer Arthur "Neddy" Smith, and his offsider "Abo" Henry. As part of this investigation, code named Milloo, two ICAC officers went to the Spencer Street remand centre in Melbourne on 12 March 1992 to interview Colin Fisk, who was serving a nine-month sentence after admitting the earlier 1972 offences.
The two ICAC officers, New South Wales police officers on secondment to the ICAC, sought information and a statement from Fisk about the incident in which Ian Marshall Moore allegedly bribed police prosecutor Mal Spence over a court case involving the Sydney Swans football player Greg Smith. However, according to Fisk, despite his willingness to discuss the overall paedophile protection racket matters, "They did not want to hear anything about the other allegations I have made". Fisk heard that he was later branded as unco-operative and they told him that he would not be needed to testify at the ICAC public hearings.
On page 104 of his February 1994 Milloo report, titled "An investigation into the Relationship Between Police and Criminals", the then ICAC commissioner, Ian Temby, briefly acknowledged Fisk's existence, although not his contribution to the inquiry, and concluded with the cursory statement, "In view of the antecedents of Fisk it was decided not to call him as a witness and I do not attach much significance to his statement". That is a very peculiar statement from the ICAC commissioner, given the circumstances. It is a mockery for the ICAC to say it was concerned about the antecedents of Fisk when the whole reason for the commission's inquiry into the police was as a result of a complaint by Arthur "Neddy" Smith, a notorious armed bank robber and convicted murderer, then serving a life sentence.
It was also a most unusual stance to take, considering that the very information about the bribery of police prosecutor Mal Spence by Ian Marshall Moore originated with Fisk in his statement to the police in 1989. It is also a strange position to take, in light of the fact that the New South Wales police force's investigation of Fisk's allegations - Operation Speedo - supposedly overseen by the ICAC, found that the majority of Fisk's allegations were true, and in the report he was described as a "reliable informant".
The New South Wales Ombudsman, who also investigated most of the Fisk allegations, found Fisk's evidence reliable. In those circumstances it is difficult to understand why the ICAC would not place any weight on Fisk's evidence. Ironically, the most damning indictment of the ICAC in this regard comes from the ICAC itself. The veracity of Fisk's allegation was proved by the fact that Marshall Moore admitted in an open ICAC hearing that he bribed Spence to obtain a reduced sentence for his client, the Sydney Swans star Greg Smith. In fact, this was the only direct admission to come out of the ICAC Milloo inquiry. As a result of that evidence, Temby recommended that both departmental and criminal charges be laid against police prosecutor Mal Spence. Especially after the damning admission from Marshall Moore, the ICAC had the perfect opportunity to question Spence further about the paedophile protection racket and the paedophile network.
In fact, Fisk had already made a specific allegation that, using exactly the same method and the same personnel, Marshall Moore had helped a paedophile escape a heavy sentence after he assaulted two little girls at Reef Beach. But this allegation was not even mentioned in the Milloo report and I believe was not even investigated. More than this, with his position in society and his involvement in the paedophile network over the years, the vulnerable Marshall Moore, who had already admitted to a crime, was in the perfect position to help authorities with inquiries in this regard. Why did they not ask him about a number of incidents involving prominent members of society whom he knew to be paedophiles or part of the paedophile network?
Instead of pursuing these vital avenues of investigation, the Independent Commission Against Corruption took it no further. Rather, the ICAC commissioner recommended that Marshall Moore be given indemnity from prosecution so that he could testify against Spence and no further action was recommended against Marshall Moore on the Swans matter or on any other matter. Mr Temby said in his report that he felt Marshall Moore had been "dealt with" because the Bar Association had struck him from the roll of barristers. Why did not the ICAC inquire further into these allegations of police corruption involving paedophiles? These allegations were clearly within its ambit.
The ICAC Milloo report was damning, but did this form of corruption - protecting paedophiles - take it that one step too far even for the ICAC or its investigators? In fact, the word paedophile was not even listed in the ICAC report index. Yet another avenue - a very important and, in many ways, the most appropriate avenue - of public disclosure and action on this important issue was closed. We have to ask why. Perhaps the most shameful aspect of this whole episode was that the Government and the Independent Commission Against Corruption said they were satisfied - I use that word - with the police Speedo investigation. How could anyone have been satisfied with the police investigation of their fellow officers and of the paedophiles?
The internal police security unit Speedo task force came to the conclusion that "corrupt practices did exist between serving police officers in the New South Wales Police Service and paedophiles until 31 March 1989". The report went on to say that police had identified 41 paedophiles, although most were not named in the report, and 14 police officers - again, many of whom were not named in the report - who were allegedly involved in some form or another in the police paedophile protection racket. I think I have sufficiently canvassed that issue here to have people understand that these matters were not properly investigated or handled. The ICAC had the perfect opportunity to look into the whole area of police corruption but it failed to do so. We have to ask ourselves why.
The ICAC Milloo investigation was too restrictive, specifically excluding difficult and highly controversial areas like paedophile protection. Nor did it look at areas like the police involvement in drugs distribution. One of the obvious problems is that the ICAC investigators are police officers on secondment from the New South Wales police force and former officers. The ICAC has failed to properly tackle the broader entrenched issues, and that is why there must be a fully independent inquiry into police corruption with wide-reaching powers. That is why I believe the House must support a full and open royal commission into these matters. I am most concerned that here we are, in May 1994, and none of these matters has been resolved satisfactorily.
I want to raise another issue involved in this matter that I am most concerned about. We have a witness who is a vital witness for the inquiry that we are still awaiting. I would hope now that the inquiry will take the form of a royal commission. At this stage that witness does not know what the future holds. That witness needs to be given protection. I raised that matter with the Minister for Police over a period of time towards the end of 1993 and again early in 1994. I was a little distressed to find that the Minister was chiding me in correspondence and saying that my request for consideration that Colin Fisk be maintained in witness protection was a matter that he thought could have carried a suggestion of political interference.
I do not believe I was involved in political interference. My concern was with the continued well-being of Colin Fisk because I believe he will be a most valuable witness in the inquiry. I said in my return correspondence to the Minister, "Let me make it quite clear. My concern is for the continued protection of an indemnified State witness, so it should be your concern". It was presumably because of the value of this witness's evidence to the Crown, in a matter which again came before the courts in March 1994 - at that time I was anticipating cases that have currently been before the courts - that John Dowd, a former Attorney General in this Government, provided indemnity not only to Colin John Fisk but to two other paedophiles who were witnesses in that case.
If I see Colin John Fisk treated any differently from one of the other paedophile witnesses in this case for whom a deal was arranged between the New South Wales and Queensland police to enable him to be present in New South Wales to give evidence, if I find that there is any attempt to have this witness not available, if I find that any harm comes to this witness, I will continue while ever I am in public life to raise this matter in the House.
I have given you assurances.
I know, and I have kept copies of the correspondence. But I am concerned that those cases have concluded and I am not sure what is going to happen. That witness must be available and should be there to provide the evidence that he is prepared to provide to the inquiry.
I was disgusted by the results of those three cases.
I think those cases are a very clear indication of something that is severely and absolutely wrong with the system. I have questions to ask the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions. For that reason I am very pleased with the terms of reference that have been suggested by the motion of the honourable member for South Coast. I believe that with those terms of reference we may finally get to the bottom of these matters. Members of the community want this Government to give priority to these matters to enable their children to be protected and to enable them to feel safe in the community. These matters are regarded as serious crimes because of the consequences to those who are caught up in these networks. The networks are very powerful, crossing all social strata in public and private life. They must be arrested. [Time expired
(Lachlan - Deputy Premier, Minister for Public Works, and Minister for Ports) [8.18]: This exercise is really a vote of no confidence in the Independent Commission Against Corruption. However one views the contributions by the honourable member for South Coast, the mover of the motion, and by the Leader of the Opposition and the honourable member for Heffron, one could draw no other conclusion than that their presentation is designed to undermine the Independent Commission Against Corruption in New South Wales. That commission, as the Premier said this afternoon, has been a resounding success. However, it does not enjoy complete support.
No commission of inquiry, royal commission or police inquiry will ever enjoy complete community support, but the Independent Commission Against Corruption is the toughest, most thorough and most comprehensive inquiry facility this State has ever had. The motion is an attempt to replicate the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which is already well established, with its own personnel, respectability and public presence. The royal commission that may be set up as a result of the motion will need to establish all those characteristics. I might be so bold as to suggest that the record of royal commissions in this State and throughout Australia and the British Commonwealth is that their findings merely keep the dust off the previous commission's report.
Once again the honourable member for South Coast is indulging in his favourite pastime of trundling out old and reworked rumours, innuendo, conspiracy theories and character assassinations. However, on this occasion he is seeking to seriously undermine the integrity and reputation of the State's Police Service. He is doing it a great disservice by using the privilege of State Parliament to string together a series of fragile theories and present them as a case for a royal commission. He knows only too well the damage his assertions will inflict on the morale and dedication of the State's 16,000 Police Service personnel. The wide scope of his suggested terms of reference for a royal commission provide him with a field day for his corruption fantasies. How many times have we witnessed the honourable member for South Coast initiate these inquiries, and how many scalps has he pinned to his belt? None! For 20 years he has been indulging in these activities, but he does not have one scalp on the belt. For 20 years he has been pursuing the Police Service, and what has he achieved? What has been the result of his obsession, his crusade against the corruption that only he sees behind every police door? The only result has been to drag the reputation of the Police Service through the mud.
From time to time the honourable member for South Coast pumps up his profile with these spurious claims of entrenched corruption in the Police Service. Except for his flimsy and unsubstantiated claims strung together from newspaper clippings and dressed up with creative statements from notorious criminals, the honourable member for South Coast has no substance, no clear-cut evidence, to back up his call for a royal commission. From time to time one finds corrupt police. There always have been, and always will be, corrupt police, but the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Ombudsman are there to weed them out. The presence of some corrupt police in a service with 16,000 personnel does not warrant a royal commission. Under this Government the Police Service has been transformed into a much more professional service than it was under Labor. The Police Academy is producing well-educated young police officers. The small percentage of corrupt officers is steadily being isolated.
We did that.
Labor has to get one right every now and then. The honourable member for South Coast is on record as hailing the creation of the ICAC as the greatest instrument against police corruption. They are the words of the honourable member for South Coast, who has moved this motion. He was a member of the ICAC committee; he helped to create the commission. He said, "We all must feel proud of the fact that the creation of such an independent commission against corruption is a world first". Why then is he now denigrating the role of the ICAC by calling for a royal commission into the Police Service? Instead of using Parliament for his
annual outpouring of police corruption theories and leaving an indelible stain on the service, the honourable member for South Coast surely would have acted more properly had he presented his so-called evidence to the ICAC instead of labelling the Police Service as corrupt with his reckless statements. Could the honourable member for South Coast be unloading all these theoretical corruption allegations collected by him over 20 years as his swansong because he realises he will not be here after 25 March next year? He has a long and unimpressive record of making baseless allegations, of casting slurs and of failing abysmally to produce the goods.
The House should be reminded of the extraordinary public attack in February 1987 by the honourable member for South Coast on Judge Anthony Collins, who, he claimed, had lied to the Court of Criminal Appeal. The honourable member was widely criticised from all quarters for his cowardly and unjustified attack on Judge Collins. The then Attorney General, Terry Sheahan, said, "Because of a 10-minute political trick by the honourable member for South Coast, his [Judge Collins'] whole reputation is to be traduced in the media before he has had an opportunity to give his response". The Attorney General was reported as saying he could drive a truck through Hatton's version of events. The New South Wales Bar Association weighed in heavily to criticise the honourable member for South Coast. If that was not enough, the honourable member for South Coast claimed that Goulburn police were corrupt. In May 1989 the Illawarra Mercury
, a responsible and reliable daily newspaper, under the heading "The Victims of Cowards Castle. Hip Shot Hatton Draws a Blank", reported, in an article written by the editor, Peter Cullen:
It was vintage Hatton, blasting from the hip and damaging the reputations of policemen unable to defend themselves at the time these accusations were being made against them . . . But Mr Hatton's parliamentary allegation had left a hole in this man's character. I find that disgusting.
Another article in the Illawarra Mercury
, written by the editor, read:
Let's face it. The man [Hatton] pines for a headline . . . John Hatton does not enjoy too much political respect from either of the major parties. He has a bad reputation for shooting from the hip . . . There are those who believe he is a pushover for anybody who wants to tell him a story. "Tell him anything at all and he'll try and raise it in the Parliament", an MP told Peter Cullen . . . But John Hatton's credibility nosedives when he maligns honest people under Parliamentary privilege . . .
In another edition of the Illawarra Mercury
a retired chief superintendent, commenting on police corruption allegations made by the honourable member for South Coast, was quoted as saying:
That is John Hatton at his hip-shot best, firing off in any direction. If you are unlucky enough to be in range, you get hit . . . John never lets the facts spoil a good story.
The honourable member for South Coast appeared as a witness at the Winchester inquiry and again drew widespread criticism for his baseless allegations. He was threatened with contempt of court for having written an accusing article in the Bulletin
. He then went close to being charged with perjury over statements he made to the inquiry which were branded malicious and contrived to damage the standing of the Australian Federal Police. The track record of the honourable member for South Coast is less than impressive. It is peppered with wild accusations, baseless assertions and reckless claims. How can this House accept with any credibility the claims he has attempted to present as justification for a royal commission?
By any standards the establishing of a royal commission is an extremely serious matter. More than public talk and a fertile imagination are needed to convince the House of the need for a royal commission. Instead of launching this unwarranted attack on the New South Wales Police Service, the honourable member for South Coast should be acclaiming the service as one of the finest in the world. He should be thankful for the law and order it provides to him and to the community. He should be proud of the young men and women who enter the Police Service because of a sense of duty to their fellow citizens and who serve with honesty and integrity. Instead, the honourable member for South Coast has cast an ugly slur over the entire Police Service in pursuit of his obsession with, and paranoia about, police corruption. It is fair to say that in the library of this Parliament there is available literally a stack of press cuttings encompassing comments by the honourable member for South Coast. Most of them are similar to those I have read. The whole motivation and reasoning of the honourable member for South Coast for moving this motion must be questioned. Why is he doing it? Why is he seeking to leave the framework of the institution that he himself supported so strongly, namely the Independent Commission Against Corruption, when it was introduced into this Parliament?
Why has he decided, now that he has his own agenda, that it cannot be encompassed within the ICAC? This afternoon the Premier has offered an opportunity for the most meritorious and the best recognised Independent Commission Against Corruption in the southern hemisphere to inquire into this matter, yet the Opposition is seeking to score some cheap political points, again at the expense of the Government. As I said a while ago, the bottom line is that in a police force of 16,000 from time to time there will be some corruption, as there is in any group of people in the community. The accountability of the police force is often called into question. The management skills that it employs can, no doubt, be improved. The Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services and his predecessor have done much to address those management skills that were so lacking in some areas of the police force before we came to government in 1988.
Customer service, which was a term seldom heard before 1988, is now paramount in the New South Wales police force. It has come about because of the policies, the encouragement, the direction and
the support that the Ministers and this Government have given to the police force since 1988. That is one of the reasons why it is without any effort at all that members of the Government can support as a genuine gesture the credibility of the New South Wales Police Service. It will be a sad day, if this motion is supported by the Parliament, for the Parliament in New South Wales and for the New South Wales Police Service. There is only one way to resolve this question and that is to accept the Premier's amendment. I urge members from both sides of the House, particularly members of the Opposition who at various stages have served in the New South Wales Police Service, to think about the professionalism and the integrity of the Police Service from the point of view of a policeman, instead of trying to support some cheap political stunt by the Independent member for South Coast.
(Liverpool) [8.32]: I am absolutely stunned that the Deputy Premier of this State would commit two of the great sins in discussing this matter. There was, first, the classic shooting of the messenger and, second, a return to the rotten apple theory. Mr Justice Lusher disposed of that theory in 1981 and everyone else has disposed of it. I will tell honourable members opposite what it is like to be a working police officer, as can the honourable member for Charlestown and my colleague the honourable member for Mount Druitt - something none of the members of the Government can do. The police force is not the army. I will tell the Government what the problem is -
How long ago?
It was a long time ago.
A long time ago.
My oath it was a long time ago. I am proud to have been a walloper in this State, but I will tell honourable members something, it is hard.
Tell the two fellows sitting in the front row. Tell Mr Cook. Tell what was done to him and tell every decent copper in this State who has had to -
The Minister should not talk rubbish. He is talking a lot of tripe and he knows it. I will tell the Government what the reaction of the New South Wales rank and file police will be. They have a choice tonight: one goes with the royal commission or one goes with the ICAC, which is what the Government wants. If the Government were to take a plebiscite of New South Wales rank and file police it would discover that they would choose the royal commission over the ICAC any day. They have been through the ICAC in more than one inquiry. The Government should ask the working police. The Government should think for one minute about the police officers and their families. In the past week an article appeared in a newspaper regarding a Federal report stating that law enforcement agencies, police forces in Australia, have been infiltrated by organised crime.
Today the stream of allegations is continuing, but who is making these allegations? Who is responsible for these allegations? The honourable member for South Coast is being blamed, but there are two other people, one of whom is Gary Sturgess, the architect of the Government's 1988 victory, the head of the Cabinet office and the creator of the ICAC. But who is the third person? Who is this third villain responsible for our debating this motion today? It is none other than the Hon. Ted Pickering, the longest serving police Minister in New South Wales, once the most powerful figure in the Liberal Party in this State. It is Mr Sturgess, the honourable member for South Coast and Mr Pickering.
I note that the Deputy Premier did not drop the bucket on Mr Sturgess or on the Hon. Ted Pickering; he simply dropped it on the honourable member for South Coast. I do not agree with everything that the honourable member for South Coast said today, but I do agree that those matters should be properly investigated. The Government has had its chances. It had a bipartisan approach on the select committee for a year, yet it has done nothing since. It had a recommendation for an oversight committee on the crime commission but the Government did nothing. The Opposition warned the Government that if it did not set up the committee a new measure would be taken, but the Government has done nothing with regard to those matters.
I refer to Operation Asset. The Leader of the Opposition and I were taken into the room of the then Leader of the House, the Hon. John Dowd, and I think the Hon. Ted Pickering was there, as well as senior police. We were told, "You have to play the game right. We have spoken to the editors and the media. Everything is fine". The Opposition did the right thing in a bipartisan approach to an important issue, but no one bothered to tell the Opposition that the Government had called it off. For how long did the ICAC have Operation Speedo? For how long has the ICAC had the information sent to it by the select committee? What has happened?
The Government has the ICAC and the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is substantially and deliberately underfunded so that he cannot carry out the role that this Parliament has given him or his broader role that legislation gave him not too long ago. He cannot conduct his inquiries. Yet the Government has the hide to say that this issue should go to the ICAC. A lot of police officers were named today, some of whom I know and some of whom I do not know. The Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services made mention, as did some others, about a fellow who was sitting in the gallery last night as a guest, Mr Gilligan. I was involved in the inquiry set up by the commissioner to ascertain his integrity. I spoke freely, voluntarily and truthfully.
My view, as it is with everything else, is that if Mr Gilligan is crook, produce the evidence and get rid of him. If he is not crook, the time is right for him
to be able to continue his career without further interruption. Other people sitting in the gallery tonight have copped a serve. They are entitled to have the matter tested. If they were given the choice as to whether they wanted it tested in an open royal commission or in a closed hearing, perhaps in the ICAC, I think I can tell the Government which one they would choose. It is time that these issues were determined once and for all so that the members of the police and their families can get on with their lives.
To satisfy the political whims of Hatton.
And Mr Sturgess and Mr Pickering. The Minister mentioned neither of them. The Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services did not object to Mr Sturgess putting the coalition into Government, nor did he object to the Hon. Ted Pickering making promises to the New South Wales Police Service, promises which he never kept. A number of inquiries could be instituted. I should like the Minister to tell me about Operation Raindrop and what has been done in its aftermath. Two men went to gaol; two men were destroyed. What about the careers of the other eight officers who were subsequently discharged at trial or whose matters were not dealt with? Can the Minister tell me about Bill Ellis? It took the select committee and three years of work by me to rectify that situation. Can the Minister tell me about Paul Kenny? The Minister opposed me at every turn until, finally, the Opposition got the numbers, thanks to the Independents, to force the Government to do something. The Opposition forced the Government into the select committee and the Opposition has had to force the Government every step of the way. I should like to refer to the case of Bill El-Azzi. He has been suspended for eight years. The Minister laughs.
Are you going to defend him?
I am saying -
Are you going to defend him?
I am not -
Are you going to defend him?
The Minister should allow me to have my time. His time was unlimited, but I have only 20 minutes in which to speak.
Are you going to defend him?
The Minister should not act like a fool. If El-Azzi is crook, the Government should produce the evidence, but he has beaten the Government at every turn. Can the Minister tell me about Trevor Otton? He should read about Otton.
Give us some answers, not the questions.
I am giving the Government the answers. The answer is that the Minister is paid the money, he gets the white car, and he gets the power given to him by this Parliament to be responsible for what happens. When that story broke on Monday night the response of the Minister was, "I have called for a report". He should pick up the ball and run with it, not dog it at full-back, but take the ball up and run with it. I am amazed at the change in the Minister's attitude since the Government came to power compared with what he expected of Ministers beforehand. I want the royal commission to look at the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New South Wales Crime Commission. I want someone - we can never ask questions in here because objection is taken - to ask about the $800,000 in drug buys that went missing. If the Minister wishes, he can inform honourable members about those issues in his reply.
I ask the Minister for Police to tell us about operations Hawkesbury and Collector. I have already mentioned Speedo. I ask him to tell us about Seabeach. I received information yesterday, which I still have to pursue, about two young police who have attempted to do something decent - like the people I have referred to in the gallery - and are now living in fear. Things have taken an interesting turn. If the Government is fair dinkum it will support the royal commission so we can deal with this once and for all. I ask the Minister to tell me about his witness protection program. It took me a year to get the original promises fulfilled for a man in witness protection. He had given evidence in a murder trial on major drug matters and was then dudded. When he sought to come to see me, and it was found out that he was coming to see me, the protection officers were taken off him. Tell me about that one.
I ask the Minister to tell me about the person who has just written to me from gaol. He has just given evidence in major criminal matters and the minute it was over he was dropped. What happened? He got scared because he got a hiding and he took off. What was the response? Put him back in protection? No fear - charge him with breach of parole. The Minister has the letter; let us see what he does about this case. Witness protection needs to be looked at. The honourable member for Heffron warned the Minister about Fisk. I want a royal commission. I want Fisk put in the box first. I do not believe that he will make it to the witness box. The Government is terrified about what he will say - not because it is implicated, but because it will show that there is a necessity to address the issues. It is not just the New South Wales police - a lot of other people, including very powerful people, want to make sure that Fisk never opens his mouth in a witness box in New South Wales or is allowed to say what he needs to say.
If you have evidence, give it to us.
The Government gave him immunity. The Government gave those three paedophiles immunity. I did not.
Mr D. L. Page:
Do you agree with Hatton on Lauer?
The honourable member knows my views on Lauer; I have said them here time and time again, and I have said them publicly. Until such time as evidence is produced which justifies action against Lauer, he will continue to have my support and the support of the State Opposition. If honourable members opposite believe in Lauer and think he has any chance of doing his job, with all this continuing to go on, they are not as smart as I thought they were. Let him do his job.
Do you believe there is entrenched corruption?
I keep trying to tell the Minister -
You won't tell me, will you?
Let me answer your question, boofhead.
You got up and quoted Sir Robert Mark. You should not take the quotes out of my previous speeches; you should read the book. You should read Mark, read Murphy, read Avery, read Whitrod.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Rixon):
Order! I remind honourable members that the honourable member for Liverpool has the call. I suggest that the honourable member for Liverpool address his remarks through the Chair.
If the Minister reads the work of those learned people with respect to policing he will find that the only way he will achieve reform is if a reformist commissioner is working with a reforming Minister and a Government committed to the cause. On some future occasion I would be happy to debate a comparison of the Government's efforts on policing since 1988 with the efforts of the Labor Party when it was in government. The Minister had the hide to stand up and talk about promotions. He should have a look at the person in the front row of the gallery who has quite rightly been promoted to assistant commissioner, who had no chance. We asked 23 questions in this Parliament and none of them were answered. It took the select committee on policing to get some form of answer - not the complete one, mind you. Finally something has happened.
Before we came to government there was not an inspector of police under the age of 50. We now have chief superintendents in their early 40s and we have a couple of young assistant commissioners. That is appropriate. They were promoted on merit. Of course there are problems with the promotion system. The Government has had the select committee report for three years and has done nothing about it. The Minister should not tell me about his problems - he is the Minister. I do not mind fixing the problems when I am in government, but I cannot fix all of them when I am in Opposition.
You were hopeless.
The Minister keeps interjecting and saying that I was hopeless. Even Ted Pickering says what a great Minister I was.
Is that a recommendation?
I will give the Minister a big tip right now to be recorded in Hansard
. If by some misfortune for the people of New South Wales the coalition wins government at the next election, Ted will be a Minister, but will you?
How much? $500? No guts! Will you take it?
The Minister has offered $500. He is the bloke earning the big brass; I am just a lowly backbencher.
Who won't be here next term?
I will be here.
He has a plan.
It is not a plan. Do I want to take a point of order on him? No, I do not. I want to get all the interjections into Hansard
. The Minister talked about promotions. I refer to the Vo matter which we debated and the matter of Ken Jurotte, which has received some publicity in recent times. Those matters need to be resolved. Wherever the truth might lie, they need to be resolved. I have a matter in my electorate. A young fellow came into my office with his mother the morning after his arrest, looking like he has done 10 rounds - without lifting his hands - against Kostya Tszyu. Yet I have a 174-page police report which says that he did not have a mark on him. This is why the terms of reference are as they are. These matters need to be addressed. It is important not only for the public of New South Wales to have faith in its police service, but for the police to have faith in the system.
I have said before that we cannot have an investigation system that puts police in limbo for 12 months, 18 months or two years while an allegation is dealt with by the Ombudsman. Yet the Government continually underfunds the Ombudsman. Compare funding that is provided to the Ombudsman with the funding provided to the Independent Commission Against Corruption - and look at the results. I am not saying that the ICAC has not and cannot play a role in some things. We will not get the result with regard to these matters that the people and the police of New South Wales require unless we have a full, open royal commission.
There have been successful royal commissions. Some royal commission reports have gathered dust, but the royal commission with regard to Harry Blackburn did not gather any dust. Indeed, the public does not know what the ultimate payout was in that matter. As I was saying, we cannot leave matters hanging without a proper resolution. The honourable member for South Coast referred to the Detective Senior Constable Locke case and that of another female officer. If the Minister thinks that is acceptable, if there is a scintilla of evidence to support
that allegation, then that in itself is worthy of a royal commission. Anybody involved in the cover-up of that matter ought to be charged - and I do not mean departmentally. It is a perversion of justice if that happened.
Pickering and I gave evidence before Temby on the second part of the Milloo inquiry on the police culture. All we ever do is talk about the police culture because it is not that easy to fix. To suggest that lawyers and doctors do not have a culture is foolish. Of course the police have a culture; it is produced under pressure; it is produced because they have to rely on their partners not just for their job but for their safety. We have to get to a situation where police who say, "I am not prepared to condone that behaviour because it is illegal" are not the villains in the piece. I do not know the truth of the matter raised by the honourable member for South Coast today, but it needs to be investigated. I do not want people to tell me that I am naive; I am not naive.
Yes, you are.
I have heard about the Minister's army career - but we are not getting into humour now. If police officers cannot report illegality that they observe, if they are not entitled to say, "I will not participate and I will not condone," where on earth are we?
We all agree with that.
If the Minister agrees with it, what has he done about it?
A bloody lot - more than you ever did.
More than I ever did? My record is there; the Minister's is yet to be seen. I have warned the Minister before that he has to get out of the building, stop having a policeman drive him everywhere and stop going everywhere with the police. He should separate himself from the police. He is not a police officer - he is the Minister under the Westminster system. It has to be separate. What about some of the people in the gallery who wanted to see you without everyone else knowing they were coming to see you - as Eddie Azzopardi used to come to see me when I was Minister?
Did you enjoy it?
I did: I took him off the vexatious letter writers list. It took him 20 years to get justice. I hope it does not take 20 years for some other people to get justice.
Who solved Eddie Azzopardi's problems?
I am sorry I let you speak uninterrupted. It will not happen again. We cannot let these issues continue. The job the police have to do is too important for police to be continually distracted by these allegations. All of us get them regularly. Most of them can be discounted but we cannot discount allegations that police may have been involved not simply in the distribution of drugs, gaming and prostitution but in murder. That is what the allegations are.
Have you got evidence? Put it in ICAC.
Put it in ICAC! Mark it urgent ministerial 24-hour response and we will never see it again. The Minister must address those issues. All of us are constantly confronted with allegations of brutality and of police being involved in drug dealing. If there is any chance of what happened at Frenchs Forest being repeated anywhere in New South Wales that is surely enough to excite interest. That was a complete and utter debacle. I agree with the honourable member the South Coast. I sat there for a year taking a bipartisan and constructive view, which the Minister publicly praised me for, yet we are not allowed to question things. It is all right while ever I am doing what the Minister thinks is right.
Question logically and rationally.
I question logically and rationally. I am proud to have been a member of the New South Wales police and I hope that the existing and future members will be proud to have been members. They will be if we have a full and open royal commission rather than the ICAC arrangement the Minister is talking about. I commend the motion, not the amendment, to the House. I hope that something constructive will happen in the interests of the people of this State and their police.
(Cronulla) [8.52]: After the next State election Liverpool at least will be a quieter electorate. The honourable member for Liverpool mentioned his record and it is worth comparing what was done by previous administrations with what has been done by this administration. To the credit of former Premier Wran he set up an inquiry under Mr Justice Lusher. What happened to the recommendations of the Lusher report? Those recommendations seemed remarkably contemporaneous when the Joint Select Committee upon Police Administration looked at them. It took the present Minister for Police to implement a number of the recommendations that were outstanding from Lusher's time. Why was that? Where was that great corruption fighter, the honourable member for Liverpool, when he was in government?
We remember Bill Allen and the questions that were asked by the former member for Lane Cove and the present speaker. The honourable member for South Coast will remember those questions and the then police Minister and the then Premier stonewalling them. We remember a Cabinet Minister who served with the honourable member for Liverpool, Mr Rex Jackson, who went to gaol as a result of questions that were asked by members in the now Government who were then in Opposition. The honourable member for South Coast will remember those questions being asked. He will remember questions about the former Chief Stipendiary Magistrate. Some of them were
asked by the honourable member for South Coast. He might remember what the then Labor administration answered in relation to those questions. He might remember that Mr Farquhar's term was extended by Mr Wran as a result of a Cabinet decision.
There was ample evidence of corruption in the judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature and people went to gaol. But did the honourable member for Liverpool denounce that corruption when he was in its midst? No. He was part of an administration that did for integrity in public life what King Herod did for babysitting. He was part of a government that one would think fell off the back of a truck. And he has the nerve to criticise the Minister for Police and this administration! The answer of the Labor Government to corruption was to set up a commissioner of public complaints. The honourable member for South Coast might remember that.
Only too well.
Only too well. He might remember that the commissioner did not manage to get into the phone book. He might remember the terms of the legislation that put the complainant more at risk than the person he was complaining about. That was the answer to corruption in the 1984 election, when it was very much on the agenda. The honourable member for South Coast would have to agree that in the 70s and 80s we had major problems which were not met by resolute action by the Government at the time.
That is correct.
The honourable member agrees. After we were elected in 1988 we set up the Independent Commission Against Corruption. We were not required to do so as an election promise.
You caught your own Premier.
Yes. It could not have been more independent.
Without fear or favour.
It was set up without fear or favour. Now it is to be put on trial as a result of this motion. It was set up as a standing royal commission. One aspect of Milloo that was not open to criticism is the segment on the gaming squad. It was a proactive operation which achieved significant results. It showed what the ICAC could do. That segment was presided over by Peter McClellan, Q.C. That has been one of the most effective examples of dealing with police corruption. It shows that the ICAC can effectively deal with police corruption. This Government set up the ICAC and the New South Wales Crime Commission and staffed and resourced those bodies.
The honourable member for South Coast and an opportunist Opposition do no credit to the rule of law in this State. As a government we appreciated that conventional law enforcement may not be adequate when there is corruption in high places. We gave the ICAC and the former State Drug Crime Commission - now the New South Wales Crime Commission - powers that were not available to ordinary law enforcement agencies. Today people have been named in the Parliament. Many of the people named have distinguished records in law enforcement. The honourable member for South Coast acknowledges that. Many of the people named have put their lives on the line.
I do not agree with that.
They put their lives on the line in making arrests. Look at the records of the people we are dealing with. All those people have been tarred. Their families will have to live with the stain for ever. All the people named are entitled to the presumption of innocence. But tomorrow morning in every newspaper in Australia, not just in New South Wales, this matter will be reported. The families of the people named will read about what has happened. The honourable member for Liverpool, a former police Minister, spoke for his full 20 minutes but at no stage did he answer the question of whether he believed there is entrenched corruption in the police force. Surely that is central to this debate. At no time did members hear the Leader of the Opposition say whether he believed there was entrenched corruption in the police force - all he talked about was the seriousness of the allegations. He did not get too close to the allegations and did not adopt them; he simply left them in the air and said that they were serious. He left sufficient space between himself and the honourable member for South Coast so that if any of the allegations were disproved he would be able to say that he had not made the allegations, he had just thought they should be investigated.
It is very easy to trawl through a series of allegations received from people who come to us as members of Parliament. It is very easy to come into the House, without any evidence, and simply repeat allegations that we have heard - whether made by people who have an axe to grind or matters of hearsay. One cannot prove innocence instantly. If an allegation were made about any one of us here in the House, it would take literally weeks to assemble the facts and prove the allegation false. Sometimes evidence by which one can prove innocence is not available. It will always be possible to set up people and to make serious allegations - that is why all members of the House have a responsibility. Good intentions are not good enough.
Whatever inquiry is set up as a result of what is said in the Chamber today, the statements made here this afternoon and tonight will be repeated in a great many places. Allegations made affect not only the individual directly concerned but also that individual's family. I do not suppose that the honourable member for South Coast would say that the families of many of the people he has named tonight have done anything wrong, but he would realise the pain and suffering occasioned when unjust allegations are made against a husband or a father. This State has existing mechanisms for the receipt of complaints and investigation into allegations. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is entitled to investigate any matter brought before it.
Mr Gary Sturgess, who was present at the creation of the ICAC legislation, has made considerable criticism. He has said that Mr Temby did not act quickly enough in relation to material on police corruption brought before him. Ultimately, there was a large-scale inquiry by the ICAC, the Milloo inquiry. The honourable member for South Coast is a member of the Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption. That committee has had Mr Temby before it every six months. The honourable member for South Coast would agree that the committee has been very active and that, in terms of what could be put to Mr Temby, no impediment or fetter has been placed on any member.
Substantial reports have been made during the time that I have been chairman of the committee. All of the reports have been unanimous. The committee has never shirked from its responsibility and certainly it has not adopted a partisan stance in relation to matters and complaints brought before it. The committee has acted in an effective and bipartisan way. Many witnesses have been brought before the committee and a great deal of its deliberations have been held in public. After five or six years in operation, the ICAC would have compiled a great degree of intelligence as a result of the Milloo inquiry. I still have confidence in the ICAC and I believe that had these allegations been referred to the commission it would have made an attempt to reach the truth. The ICAC has the same powers as a royal commission, and it has the advantage of five years' experience and having assembled considerable information. A royal commission, however, will have to start from scratch.
I imagine that the cost to establish a royal commission on this matter would be $15 million to $20 million. Probably 500 or more police officers could be provided for that cost. At the end of the day I wonder what will be achieved by a royal commission that could not be achieved by an ICAC inquiry. It is wrong for the honourable member for Liverpool to say that a royal commission would be conducted openly whereas an ICAC inquiry would be conducted, in effect, in camera. The honourable member for South Coast sat on an inquiry conducted by the Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption in relation to private and public hearings. He knows that if it could be said that that committee had any bias, that bias would be towards public hearings. Our committee did point out, however, that the hearing of evidence in camera is justified on several occasions, for example, when the confidentiality of an informer is being uncovered and when a criminal trial would be prejudiced by a public hearing. Royal commissions do not always sit in public and would also justify the hearing of evidence in camera.
In this State we have either rule of law or licence. If we have licence, under which members can march into the House and make allegations against individuals, then we destroy the institutions of this State. It is not only the Police Service as an institution that is under threat - it is the criminal justice system and the concept of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The honourable member for Liverpool concluded his address by saying that he was proud to have been a member of the New South Wales police force. I would hope that each serving member of the New South Wales Police Service would be able to make that statement. I do wonder, though, how many of them would be able to make that statement - with allegations being made, calls for a royal commission and demands for reports from the ICAC.
It is wrong that authorities can keep on investigating people and paralysing their effectiveness so that all of their energy and resources are taken in investigations of their own. Neither the drug trade nor organised crime in this State has disappeared. The care and attention that will be devoted to those problems by the Police Service could well be reduced because a great deal of attention will be taken up with the proposed royal commission. I reiterate my contention that any achievements made by a royal commission could be made by putting the allegations before the ICAC. The Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption would have to face the Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption. There is also a second mechanism of accountability, the Operations Review Committee. The honourable member for South Coast must appreciate that it is an imperfect mechanism, but it is one that seeks to address the institutions problem of who guards the guardian. The concept of having the Operations Review Committee is correct because the commissioner cannot be allowed to determine the priorities. To have people drawn from the community who are truly accountable is one way of meeting that problem.
If the honourable member for South Coast has a better mechanism, he should tell the House. Our committee has published a report on the Operations Review Committee and has suggested improvements. A series of meetings will be held with that Operations Review Committee. It is difficult to establish mechanisms for accountability. We have two with the ICAC, one of which is parliamentary. I could not think of anything more disastrous than for a group of politicians to determine the operational side of the ICAC. The time will come when a government will enjoy a majority in this House. If politicians are allowed to determine how the ICAC operates, the problems and results that have previously occurred in New South Wales will return. We should look at the problem responsibly. The honourable member for South Coast was a member of the Joint Select Committee upon Police Administration. The Minister for Police responded and legislation that enjoyed partisan support was proposed. In the past six years accountability and changes to police conduct have improved. [Time expired
(Charlestown) [9.12]: After 21½ years in this Parliament I say with all the vigour that I can muster that I never thought I would see the day when I would support a motion to create a royal
commission into the Police Service. From my speech to the House a few weeks ago as a consequence of certain things that have happened to me since early March, I understand finally how the honourable member for South Coast feels. My family and I have experienced what he and numerous members of the Police Service have experienced over a period of time when they rocked the boat. As a member of the Police Service you are expected to go along with everything, say that everything is right, that there is no problem and accept things blindly.
Since late 1988 and early 1989 my family and I had a problem and police had to be dragged like the reluctant bride at every juncture trying to get justice to clear my name. I assure the House that I did not go grey in the last three or four years through worry about my job as shadow Minister; it is the result of sleepless nights as a consequence of the vilification and inquiries to which I have been subjected while trying to help a few kids. The treatment I have received has been unbelievable, but no one would believe my story. It was not until the Ombudsman said that for different reasons an inquiry had never been held into these matters that I finally received justice.
In the days prior to Christmas the Ombudsman said, "Unfortunately, of course, the major perpetrator resigned on 14 December and we cannot do anything to him". Tough luck! I said, "I have been pursuing this since 1991 when I produced a 29-page description of what was happening to me, my wife, my family and people close to me, and no one lifted a hand". The Ombudsman said that he was satisfied now; and "With all the power I have, because you asked questions in Parliament" - which I was completely reluctant to do - "we reached a final solution". But it was too late. As a result, one girl who may never return to work, one who works only two days per week, my wife, my family and I, are all victims of a particular senior sergeant of police who wrote the most scurrilous and defamatory document in 1988 discrediting me and accusing me of knocking off money from police youth clubs and a variety of other things.
No one did anything to support me. Former Assistant Commissioner Cole virtually told me to pull my head in and directed me to north region. He told me to run away; "Run away, don't you worry or you will be seen to be vindictive". I have reached this conclusion in the past few weeks when I lost faith in the system of a job that I loved and with which I am still involved in the youth club movement despite all that has been done to me. I am taking a group of kids to Wellington this weekend because I love to do that. The Commissioner of Police and the Minister will be joining us. I have great respect for them. If it was not for the Minister and the Chief Secretary, I would still be dealing with my present problem. Despite what others might say, the Minister for Police was the one person who provided a ray of sunshine at the end to help me out of that trouble.
During the Address-in-Reply debate I referred the House to a matter concerning a constituent of mine. The matter related to brothels and a particular superintendent of police, who is an honest cop. Various people have said that he is a zealot. He just happens to like his job but he has been called a zealot because he is honest and has pursued the closure of brothels in Newcastle at the direction of the commissioner. My views about the commissioner are the same as those of the honourable member for Liverpool. I have known the commissioner through the Police Association and socially. He has had my support and always will. If anyone suggests anything unfavourable about Tony Lauer, they should prove it.
This motion is not discrediting the commissioner, because as State Commander and later Commissioner of Police he told Superintendent Cleary to start closing brothels pursuant to the Disorderly Houses Act. Cleary has been held to be a campaigner and a moralist. He was doing what he was told: no more, no less. When his wife visited me, I did not know what the matter was about. She produced evidence that he told the commissioner several times, "It is not going on in Sydney, it is not going in Wollongong, why do you want me to continue?" I have said time and again that the previous Government should have done something about legalising brothels. As long as there are brothels there will be corruption within the Police Service and by criminals associated with it.
Police officers have always faced temptation. In the short time that I spent in the licensing branch, police officers were always involved with grog, SP betting, gambling and brothels. Any officer placed in an illegal gambling establishment knew that it had all been arranged. One bloke with whom I grew up and played football said to me, "I've got my bail tonight. I may as well go with you rather than somebody else". The system was a joke. I have been there; I have seen it. Apart from a few illegal card clubs, SP betting and illegal gambling is pretty much on the wane. There is not as much peddling of illegal grog now as there was when I was a member of the police in the 1960s. Brothels have prospered. As long as brothels exist, there will always be complications and problems with police.
This all blew up in Newcastle because a particular person was trying to do his job. On 6 October 1993 an inspector informed Cleary that a meeting of brothel owners and police in Newcastle on the previous day had discussed means of getting rid of Cleary because of his actions relating to Newcastle brothels. Cleary informed the Police Service. Information obtained at a later date - which I have handed to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, unlike other members here tonight who said I should provide evidence - indicated that the meeting was held in a cafe in Newcastle. The police were unable to find out where the meeting was held, but I found out. It was held in a cafe in Watt Street, Newcastle. I learned that police were present - which I have always suspected - together with brothel owners and solicitors. There was even an agenda: brothels, drugs and "get rid of Cleary".
A Sydney brothel owner also attended the meeting, but no one wants to know about that. I know about it because he is under State protection. I do not propose to reveal his name because his life would be in jeopardy, but the State task force knows that he was in Newcastle on that date and for that purpose. The fact is, it could be one of dozens of people. It has been suggested that a former vice squad detective is associated with a brothel in Newcastle; that the district commander and a solicitor agreed that a charge would be withdrawn. It was suggested to one person that, if he did not do the right thing and lay off, his son would not graduate from the police academy. A police prosecutor has been told time and again not to become involved in the withdrawal of a charge because it has to be dispensed with by the court. The matter had to be heard; not just taken before a magistrate and withdrawn.
Regardless of the warnings, they proceeded down that track. An inspector from internal affairs - whom I do not intend to name, because everyone is worried about people being named - went to Newcastle to conciliate the charge although he had not even seen the brief of evidence. On his own admission, he had not seen the brief of evidence. Another fellow involved himself in a traffic matter. I am sure that many of my constituents facing similar charges would welcome the opportunity to have their matters similarly dealt with. I have people coming into my electorate office every day, saying that in their dealings with traffic police they have been hard done by, and within a fortnight or so the matter could be dispensed with.
Tickets to a particular New Year's function were sent to a superintendent in an attempt to compromise him. A breach of the Liquor Act was involved, but a local senior policeman went to the function and gave it tacit support. On 31 January a detective at Newcastle informed Superintendent Cleary that newspapers had inquired of him, "When is Cleary being transferred over the brothels?" In another case, a police prosecutor scratched out the names of the informants on an original incident in November and substituted Superintendent Cleary's name. The matter was then referred to the newspapers in order to start a war and further discredit people. How the matter would ever get into the newspapers is beyond my comprehension. A journalist was called to headquarters and told the graphic details, and it appeared in the newspaper for all to see.
The program "A Current Affair", having been supplied with information, went to the home of a particular person and camped there for five hours; that person could not gain entry to his home. It is unbelievable that this could have occurred. Now the internal affairs unit, north region, is conducting a witch-hunt because someone has had the audacity to rock the boat. I could go on for hours. In another example a former detective who is involved in brothels is constantly in the company of the most senior policeman in the area, and no action has been taken. As I said earlier, I have handed over the evidence I had. I will continue to do so and will not be deterred. I can inform honourable members that, this week, the members of a solicitor's practice said to Cleary, who has now taken legal advice, "This is an exact parallel with the Harry Blackburn case. You mark my words, it has every symptom of that". I raised this matter and made no judgment on the case. I merely handed over the material. I did not name the damning evidence but I have been pilloried ever since.
In the past week a chief inspector of police visited the workplace of Superintendent Cleary's daughter, who is not a member of the Police Service. A document I have refers to him as Inspector Hobden, but I understand he is a chief inspector. With another officer, he visited her place of employment at police headquarters, Sydney. Ms Cleary said that Inspector Hobden was aggressive. She said he had told her superior the previous day not to advise her that they were coming. She is a police employee but not a member of the Police Service. Ms Cleary told Inspector Hobden that she did not wish to be interviewed and she would contact her solicitor - she is a very smart girl. She said that Inspector Hobden's words to her were particularly aggressive and offensive and that, in the presence of the other police officer, he stated, "We are not after you; we are after Face and your father".
What are this State and this country coming to? I have already conciliated one matter with a senior member of the service for whom I have deep respect, because I have made some inquiries since. I thought the matter had been finalised, but here is a chief inspector of police harassing a girl at her workplace. I now find they have removed documents from some place where they have been making inquiries. The documents have nothing to do with the New South Wales Police Service; they are Commonwealth documents. They have been to the university and on both occasions said, "We have a complaint". The people who represent Cleary, his solicitor and his barrister - who would be well-known to the Police Service, having handled the Blackburn case - were told, "We do not have a complaint, at all". Yet, Hobden is running around saying that he is going to get Face and Cleary.
There is no complaint. If you rock the boat and you have the hide or the audacity to stand up, you will be harassed and intimidated. I could have come into this House and taken a point of privilege but I thought that all it would do was expose all of these people to a great deal of trouble. I have raised this matter tonight because I have heard other things since and I am satisfied that I do have matters of concern. I have done nothing wrong. The Government asks why the Opposition wants an inquiry? I am just undertaking my duties, without fear or favour. The Opposition asked a question recently about Operation Choke in Newcastle - and the Minister wonders why it is getting into trouble! I asked whether two police involved in Operation Choke removed a well-known and respected architect in the Newcastle area from the Newcastle Building Centre at Broadmeadow - hardly an unidentifiable place - during a prominent seminar involving the earthquake. The answer was no.
The next part of the question was, "If so: (a) What was the purpose of his removal?" They took him out to question him about the earthquake, but according to the police the incident did not take place. The next part of the question read, "(b) Why was it chosen to do it in that way?" There is no doubt that the reason was to embarrass him. The question continued, "(c) Is he a well-known person residing in the area and would not have been difficult to locate?" There would be no problem at all. The next part of the question was, "(d) Who were the two police officers . . . " They claim the incident did not occur, but I do not ask questions to which I do not know the answers. The officers were Detective Senior Sergeant Tate, who objected to being counselled afterwards, and an officer called Pont, who is, of course, a continual agitator against Cleary. Mr Hobden had visited this particular place to get the papers, but Pont could be in Chief Superintendent Moeller's office within 30 minutes of Cleary visiting the place.
Who is he working for? Is he working for the police or the particular group? I can tell the House how it happened, and that is why the Minister is in trouble. Questions like that received a blanket "No" answer. I knew the answer or I would not have asked the question in the first place. What is this State coming to? We can do nothing but support the motion. As I said in my opening remarks, I never thought I would see the day that I would have to support a motion like this. Things are out of hand. The 99.9 per cent of the Police Service who are decent men and women would welcome a final clearing-out of those who continue the mentality and culture that every time you say something, you are pilloried or find yourself in the same situation as I am. I walk home from the football now because I am not game to drive. I never thought that as a former policeman who is still involved on the periphery of the Police Service and respects police officers, I would ever reach that stage. If honourable members think I am emotional, I have every reason to be. I want an answer, as do many other people. The honourable member for Liverpool and I are former police officers. I was pleased to be a member of the Police Service, and members of my family are still in the service. [Time expired
(Monaro) [9.32]: I oppose the motion and support the Premier's amendment. I want to raise a number of concerns, but initially I should like to say, in relation to the contributions by the honourable member for Liverpool and the honourable member for Charlestown, who are both former police officers, that I also served for a short period of time with those who are known as the perspex police or, at one stage, the plastic police - the Federal Police. I have a high degree of respect for the New South Wales Police Service. I share the same regrets as the honourable member for Liverpool and the honourable member for Charlestown that we have reached a point of time when, as a result of allegations made by the honourable member for South Coast, we are debating the prospect of a royal commission. That is nothing new. This has all happened on previous occasions. I should like to read to the House part of a contribution from the Address in Reply to the Governor's Speech on 16 September 1980, to find out whether honourable members find anything familiar in what is occurring in the State in recent times. I quote:
The facts are that the police commissioner could argue in public with his Minister and he could resign on full superannuation benefits without a full investigation. His resignation was based on an anonymous document that made some shattering observations about the New South Wales police force, referring to illegal casinos and starting price betting operating under an elaborate system of police protection. Senior officers were involved in bribery and corruption. Criminal Investigation Bureau members were heavily involved in organized crime including armed hold-ups, robberies, gambling, drugs, dealings with criminals, prostitution and corrupt lawyers substituting smaller charges when serious offences were committed. Vital evidence in court was withheld, briefs permitted active interstate criminals to operate with assistance and immunity upon the payment of large sums of money or part of the proceeds of crimes committed.
At that time a royal commission was in place. Since then the Australian Labor Party has had 12 years in government. Nothing has changed; it has all happened before. Let me read on and let us see if we can guess who is making the speech. I read further from the same contribution to the Address-in-Reply debate:
I am stunned that this Parliament has not been given an opportunity to engage in a full debate on organized crime; the Baldwin bashing; the Woodward Royal commission - which cost more than $3 million; the retirement under a cloud of Police Commissioner Wood; the results of the Australian Royal commission on drugs and the trail of unanswered questions; the proliferation of illegal gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking and the penetration of organized crime into the police force, the professions and the Parliament; and a host of other matters of great concern to the citizens.
Do honourable members know who made that speech? It was none other than the honourable member for South Coast, John Hatton. This is on 16 September 1980. He continued:
There is no more important subject than organized crime.
Here is a newly elected member saying there is no more important subject than organised crime. He continued:
It threatens the very fabric of our democracy and law and order in this State. Premier Wran, in answer to a question I asked on 23rd February, 1979, said that the Government believes the Parliament to be the place for members to question, probe, criticize and oppose incidents of organized crime.
There he is, the guru himself. I will repeat it. This is the honourable member for South Coast speaking about the Hon. Neville Wran:
Premier Wran, in answer to a question I asked on 23rd February, 1979, said that the Government believes the Parliament to be the place for members to question, probe, criticize and oppose incidents of organized crime.
In that instance I agree with Premier Wran. The honourable member for South Coast continued - and I might add that he is referring to the Australian Labor Party; nothing much has changed:
And yet the Government has gone out of its way to prevent that from happening. Why? Honourable members are entitled to know why. I express utter disgust that this House has not even passed a motion of regret concerning the bashing of a member of the Parliament to within an inch of his life. The bald statement was made that only the Leader of the Opposition was entitled to speak. The red alert must sound when the political party in Government acknowledges responsibility for the Baldwin bashing, does not deny any link between the Australian Labor Party and organized crime in city branches of the party, and does not specifically invite - in fact demand - that the most efficient investigatory law enforcement agency in the State - and I am talking about the Crime Investigation Unit and the federal law enforcement agencies, and I shall mention this later - investigate urgently the threat to peace, good order and democratic government.
When thugs and criminals and others can conspire to undermine the pre-selection process of candidates for government -
What has changed, I might ask?
- and local government - and in one instance thereby tried to remove no less a person than the Chairman of Committees of this Parliament - and for this Government not only to fail to initiate a full-scale debate but to block such a debate deserves censure of the highest order.
This is the honourable member for South Coast in 1980 quoting Justice Williams in the report of the royal commission into drugs in Melbourne. I am speaking about the honourable member for South Coast, a man obsessed with corruption. The report goes on to say:
Everywhere I go I am told - heroin. It does not matter whether it comes from Western Australia, Melbourne or Queensland. The bulk of it seems to be on its way to Sydney before it is redistributed back to these places.
What has your Government done about it?
What did the Labor Party do about it when it was in government? It had 12 years to do something about it, but did absolutely nothing. It is absolute hypocrisy for the two previous speakers to bleat about being former members of the police force. The honourable member for South Coast in his time in this House has attacked personally, without regard for the families involved, police, prison officers, private citizens and even members of the judiciary. Who does he trust? He does not trust a royal commission, and I will talk about that in a moment. He does not trust police, prison officers, or private citizens. He does not trust members of the judiciary; he does not trust the royal commission - and I will prove that in a moment; he does not trust the Independent Commission Against Corruption. He certainly does not trust honourable members opposite. We have just heard all about that. I refer to the Hansard
of 18 February 1987. The matter reported relates to the judiciary. The honourable member for South Coast gave the following notice of motion in the House on that day relating to Judge Collins, and it has been referred to by the Deputy Premier:
1. That this House expresses alarm at the action of District Judge A. D. Collins in lying in a handwritten report to the Court of Criminal Appeal in the case of Andrew John Williams.
The motion continues, but it was subsequently amended on a point of order. The motion, as amended, reads:
That this House expresses alarm at the action of District Judge A. D. Collins in lying in a handwritten report to the Court of Criminal Appeal in the case of Andrew John Williams.
He was discredited in the media, across the State and even by members of the Opposition. In that instance the honourable member for South Coast had an alternative. He had an option. In every instance that he has raised cases of corruption in this place there has been an alternative, but he chooses not to take that alternative because he is a publicity seeker every time there is to be an election. This is what Attorney General Sheahan said:
The honourable member for South Coast basically supported the provisions of the Judicial Officers Bill. Had the honourable member made an inquiry of me as to my intentions in respect of the matter that he raised today - and it was actually raised publicly by the well-known Dr Vinson - I would have told the honourable member exactly what I had done. Having decided not to do that, but to give notice of motion, I am compelled to raised this point of order to suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that though this is the first time the issue has arisen since the passage of the legislation, the commission does act judicially in dealing with matters referred to it by me or complained about by the public. The honourable member for South Coast saw fit not to use his undoubted rights as a member of Parliament and as a citizen to lodge a complaint in accordance with the statute and decided to bring this serious allegation to the Parliament in such colourful language.
The honourable member for South Coast is not unfamiliar with royal commissions. I refer to 13 May 1987 when he gave notice of a motion in the House with regard to the incidence of marijuana growing in the vicinity of Goulburn. In his answer to the motion the following day, George Paciullo, Minister for Police at the time, said:
Yesterday, by way of notice of motion, the honourable member for South Coast called for an independent investigation of matters concerning the growing of marijuana in the Goulburn police district, and implicated a number of officers.
That is the same pattern: without any regard for the anxiety and the distress of the families of the police involved or the police officers themselves, he immediately raised the matter in the House. However, he had alternatives. George Paciullo later said:
In my discussion with Justice Stewart he indicated he would be happy to meet with the honourable member for South Coast in the light of his allegations.
The alternative was there again, but the honourable member for South Coast chose to take the public stand, chose to grandstand in the Parliament and raise the issue in the public arena, making best use of the publicity available to him leading up to the election. I should now like to refer to the case of Col Winchester which flows on from the matters spoken about in the House on that day, 14 May 1987. Mr Ron Cahill, Chief Magistrate and Coroner in his report delivered on 8 November 1991, in relation to the honourable member for South Coast, said:
Calls for wider inquiries and a royal commission into the general issue of police corruption and marijuana plantations, is of no relevance to my task. I simply have no credible evidence before me to assist the task of identifying the murderer of Winchester. I have no doubt that Mr Hatton and others sincerely believe that their theories are correct. I am not in a position, nor is it appropriate for me, to either pursue those theories or pass comments upon them. I am required to act on hard evidence and my task is a restricted one. At times, during this inquest, I gained the clear impression that Mr Hatton held his beliefs and theories on this question so strongly that he appeared unwilling to jeopardise those theories when faced with hard evidence or arguments to the view that was contrary to his own. He seemed to be operating from the perspective that his theories and views on the subject were absolutely correct and that despite evidence forthcoming that might cast some doubt upon his theories, somehow, a wider and deeper inquiry would produce evidence that would verify his theories.
The honourable member was condemned by Mr Ron Cahill, the magistrate involved in the inquest into the death of Col Winchester. At a later stage he is further critical of the honourable member for South Coast. He said:
I reject the criticism by Mr Hatton that the AFP was responsible for performing the investigatory task on my behalf at this inquest. The crime logically falls within their jurisdiction. They have at their control, the material concerning most of the issues that have arisen. It is not always the custom that an outside investigatory agency is brought in when a senior police officer is murdered. There are examples in the past of unsuccessful enterprises where this ploy has been adopted.
Finally, I regard Mr Hatton's criticism as a slur upon myself and the able investigation team led initially by Mr John Dee QC and later Mr John Winneke QC. The investigation in this matter was controlled by me with the expert assistance of that team. In my view that negates the uninformed speculative comment made by Mr Hatton in this regard.
Thank the Lord someone had the guts to take the honourable member for South Coast to task, as Mr Ron Cahill did. Further, in response to specific recommendations by the various parties involved, Mr Cahill said in his report:
The call for an inquiry for a royal commission by Mr Hatton and others into the whole question of Operation Seville remains, in my opinion, essentially a political question.
In another part of the report Mr Cahill said:
The AFP have recommended I consider support for a perjury charge to be laid against Mr Hatton in respect of the evidence he gave before me.
At a later stage of the report he said:
I find no credible evidence before me to base any finding of corruption against any member of the New South Wales Police Force, past or present.
I refer to the allegations made by the honourable member for South Coast in this House on 14 May 1987 when he implicated a number of officers and he was taken to task by the Hon. George Paciullo, the Minister at the time. Who does the honourable member for South Coast trust? We have established that he does not trust the police or Mr Cahill. In the final moments available to me I shall look at the record of the honourable member for South Coast. I went to the library this afternoon to try to establish the record of the honourable member in raising issues in this House relating to corruption. He has asked a litany of questions since he entered the House in about 1979 - all of them relate to corruption and, to the best of my knowledge, they are of little or no consequence except that they brought anguish and grief to the families of the individuals concerned. I refer to a question he put on notice in 1987 relating to police corruption. His question was:
In 1977 did the then Crown Prosecutor Mr John Laurence identify 14 police officers in connection with a stolen car racket in association with Reginald John Varley?
In some cases the honourable member for South Coast has been spot on; but it does not take a royal commission to resolve these issues. Many of his questions are the same. We can all remember the case of Buckets Jackson. The honourable member, to his credit, was involved in those inquiries. The honourable member has asked many other questions, which are available for all honourable members to see in their own time. None of the issues he has raised requires a royal commission. Finally, I share the concerns of many in this House with regard to the obsession the honourable member has with corruption. I refer to some words of Justice Moffitt when addressing a matter relating to Sergeant Jack McNeil and the evidence he had given before a royal commission. Justice Moffitt said:
His evidence is so patently unreliable at so many points I am forced to the conclusion that the falsity of much of his evidence is not by mistake but at least on some points is knowingly.
I often wonder whether those words refer to the honourable member for South Coast. I wonder whether this is a cheap political exercise for the honourable member for South Coast to be re-elected. This exercise is nothing more than a callous disregard for the human dignity of those members of the New South Wales police force - [Time expired
(Londonderry) [9.52]: I support the motion moved by the honourable member for South Coast. I cannot believe the attack Government members have made on the honourable member for South Coast in this Chamber tonight. One wonders what they have to hide. It is a right of every member in this Chamber to raise anything in the interests of the public. That is the job of a member of Parliament. I do not agree with everything the honourable member has said now or in the past. However, the honourable member has plenty of guts and he stands behind what he says. He is prepared to show his true colours. That is something that a lot of people on the Government side do not do. Government members have spoken tonight about the Independent Commission Against Corruption and have said we do not need a royal commission in New South Wales; the ICAC is there to do this.
In the early days the ICAC would not have tracked an elephant through snow. It had a lot of legal people who knew absolutely nothing about police work. The Government talks about victims and how
many scalps the honourable member for South Coast has. How many scalps does the ICAC have? The ICAC went out and looked for the easy target - who did it catch? It caught probably the most honest member of Parliament ever on the coalition side, the Hon. Nick Greiner. Nick Greiner also went to court and it was proved that he was innocent. That is how good the ICAC is. Government members are saying, "Let the ICAC do it. You don't need a royal commission". We do need a royal commission.
The issue of naming people has been raised in this House tonight. In 1991 I agonised for about six months with respect to naming certain members of the New South Wales police force. Some of my best friends, from when I was playing rugby league, are members of the New South Wales Police Service. I have a son who wants to join the service. He would be very proud to join the force. I will support him as much as I can to do so. There is a small percentage of dishonest cops, and the rest are an asset to this State. I agonised for a long time as to whether I should name these police. I was sitting in my office one night and I got a telephone call from downstairs to the effect that a certain gentleman was here to see me. He was one of the highest ranked police officers in New South Wales.
He said, "I believe you have something to drop over the next few weeks in the Chamber about police corruption". I said, "Yes, I have". He said, "When are you going to do it?" I said, "Channel 2 has been doing some work on it for the last six months to back up what I am saying. Probably in four or five weeks". He said, "Let me tell you that the story down at the big house is that if you don't drop it tonight you will not be able to drop it". He said, "You won't be dead, but you won't be able to give evidence in this Chamber for a long time to come". Prior to that visit I had spoken to the then Premier, Nick Greiner about this situation. I went to see him again that night. We organised that we would get suspension of standing orders so that I could tell the House about the situation. That happened. Most of the policemen I named in 1991 were proven to have something to answer for - but it took a long time.
The person I went to see Greiner about was none other than a so-called Mr Big of crime - and I have no doubt that he is. He is a fellow by the name of Louie Bayeh. I have no barrow to push for Louie Bayeh whatsoever. If he is guilty of anything, lock him up and throw away the key. Louie Bayeh was charged with assault when he was 16 years old for fighting in the street. If he is a Mr Big of crime, how come we have not picked him up before today? That question must be answered. Only a royal commission can give us that answer. Bayeh came to see me and convinced me over a period of time that he had a case. He told me that he had been set up by the New South Wales police. Bayeh told me that he had been paying three squads of the New South Wales police off for 14 years through the prostitution racket. He paid $1,000-odd a week to the three of them. He then stopped paying. After he stopped paying he was told that if he did not start paying again he would be set up.
Bayeh was picked up at Kings Cross one night and charged with being in possession of heroin. Bayeh maintained that he was innocent. After he gave me some proof of that, I believed that he was innocent. It does not matter whether you are a criminal, a politician, a priest or a pauper, if you have been set up, you have been set up. There is no doubt in the world that Bayeh had been set up. I spoke to the then Attorney General, John Dowd, many times about this matter. The advice I got from John Dowd in the end was, "Look, go home and look after your family because this is over your head. Forget about it". That was good advice, and I probably should have taken it. The then Premier, Nick Greiner, was very helpful, as was Peter Collins when he was Attorney General.
I organised to see the Premier, Gary Sturgess and everyone else concerned. I put it to them that they should think about no billing Bayeh's case. I did not do that because I wanted to help a crim, but because I honestly believed that Bayeh could prove that he was innocent. I did it so it would not cost the taxpayers of this State any money. No one went along with that suggestion, and I will say a little more about the help I got from Mr Temby and the ICAC later. Bayeh was charged and went to court. He finally went to court on 24 June 1993 and the case was settled some time before Christmas.
I refer to the charges I spoke about in 1991 and the reason we asked for a no bill. The magistrate acquitted Bayeh on the basis that the police had fabricated the evidence against him and in effect had loaded him up. On the acquittal of Bayeh the court ordered that the police also pay his costs. So far the taxpayers of this State have paid $55,000 for Bayeh's costs. Since then Bayeh has taken out a defamation case against the Government. He could get $200,000 to $300,000 for that. He has won his day in court. There is a fairly good chance that he will win the defamation case.
The taxpayers of this State have been slugged three or four hundred thousand dollars, which has been given, in the words of the ICAC and everybody else, to a Mr Big of crime. We are supporting the Mr Bigs of crime. Bayeh was brought to my office by a doctor who felt that he had a case. On 17 July 1991 I started getting telephone death threats. They continued on 18 July. I was told that I was going to be put into a cement box, fitted with a cement suit and all the rest of it. On the same days Bayeh also got death threats. On 22 July 1991, after attending a meeting of the Henry Lawson Club, I visited my office about 9.45 p.m. for a short time. On leaving the office just prior to 10 o'clock I saw that people in the car park appeared to be trying to steal my car. There were three or four of them and when I went over to see what was going on I received a hiding. Subsequently I received two other hidings, not knowing who did it or where they came from.
Since having the temerity to speak about these people in this Chamber I have had bullets in the front door of the centre where I am and a call the next day to say that next time the bullets would not be in the
door but in me. I had blood spilled over the bonnet of my car and my car smashed. All these matters were brought to the attention of the ICAC. The ICAC did not want to know too much about them. The chairman of the ICAC committee spoke in this debate earlier. He told us what a great job the ICAC has done. The Parliament's ICAC committee investigated the charges I made. I might say that no one has been held responsible for any assault on me. Nothing has been followed up. None of the charges I made at the time about me or anything in connection with them has been followed up. There has been no conclusion to any of them. That is just not good enough.
When the parliamentary committee investigated the matter it did not even invite Bayeh. He was not even invited to the Parliament to give evidence, nor was his lawyer or solicitor. When the committee met I do not know who it talked to and where it got its information. The main culprit was Bayeh and he was not even brought before the committee. The name of Gary Sturgess has been mentioned quite a few times tonight. He is the person who created the ICAC for the Government. At the time it was claimed that the ICAC would be a panacea for all evils. Gary Sturgess has some reservations. He wrote:
In November 1990, the Member for Londonderry, Mr Paul Gibson . . . approached the former Premier, Mr Nick Greiner, about the arrest of a Kings Cross identity, Mr Louie Bayeh . . .
He went on in the letter to state that I asked at the time for a no bill and the reasons for doing so. He continued:
There the matter rested until 18 July 1991, when the (then) Premier's Chief of Staff, Ken Hooper, rang me following a call from Paul Gibson. Mr Hooper advised me that the case had still not been finalised by the IPSU, and that Bayeh had been advised to get out of the country by the NSW police.
That was Ken Hooper telling the story. The letter continues:
Given the name of one of the police officers which was mentioned to me at the time, I took this to be a veiled threat from the corrupt elements within the NSW police force.
It cannot be taken in any other way.
And that is the head of the Cabinet Office.
Yes. Mr Sturgess continued:
On . . . 26 July, 1991, I communicated information about the assault to the ICAC, the NSW police and the Minister for Police.
They are the three top authorities. Gary Sturgess put my case to these three bodies and three years later I still have not heard anything in response. For any member of Parliament to be treated in such a fashion places our parliamentary system in this western democracy in jeopardy. The whole parliamentary system is at stake. It is not about John Hatton or his fight with Tony Lauer; we are sticking up for the people and democracy in this State. Mr Sturgess continued:
That same day, I spoke to Mr Ian Temby . . .
When I had the temerity to raise some of these matters with Mr Temby he said, "I am too busy. I am too precious to talk about corruption". He did not want to pursue hard core corruption. All he wanted to do was pursue the easy corruption, the Nick Greiner types of corruption. I might add that when Nick Greiner fell not one of the members opposite stood behind him. Mr Sturgess continued:
That same day, I spoke to Mr Ian Temby about this whole affair because of my concern about the ICAC's initial mishandling of the Bayeh matter and the need for ICAC supervision of the remainder of the investigation. I also told him about the bashing of Mr Paul Gibson and expressed my view that this was a serious allegation, warranting the full attention of the ICAC.
Mr Temby was most reluctant to become further involved. He rejected my suggestion that [the head of the ICAC at the time] had completely mishandled this matter. He would only acknowledge that it could have been handled better. He said that the ICAC could not pick up a matter everytime the police could not handle it. I replied that I thought this was something a little more serious than just another matter the police couldn't handle. He also suggested that the ICAC lacked the resources. I pointed out that the Act gave them the capacity to set up a hand-picked taskforce. He acknowledge that that was a possibility and told me that he would think about my comments.
He went on to say:
The same day I also spoke by phone and then in person to Mr Pickering about this matter. He expressed concern at ICAC mishandling of the affair, but . . . did not show sufficient concern at the alleged assault of Mr Gibson and was unsympathetic to the difficulties of arranging attention for Mr Bayeh in these circumstances.
I saw the Bayeh case as the best way to open the Pandora's box of corruption in New South Wales. Bayeh was prepared to give evidence on his case only - as much evidence as we wanted. I peddled Bayeh around - I wondered why and I know now - to people like Col Cole and Bob Myatt. I had many meetings with him. Now we know why I did not get anywhere. He told me all the time, "Mr Bayeh will go a certain way but he will not give us all the information we want". Let us have a royal commission and then see how much information we get out of the Mr Bayehs.
And you too.
You can throw up about me what you like. I have a letter here about the Minister for Police that I might table at some stage. It is from Valerie Murphy, the sister of Chris Murphy. We will see how that is handled at the right time. That is something else for another day. Mr Sturgess continued:
On 8 August 1991, I took the unprecedented step of writing a letter to the . . . Premier outlining these matters and expressing my grave concern at ICAC inaction over police corruption.
I want it to be clearly understood that I am offended that this Government is unwilling to do anything or incapable of doing anything about a core of corrupt police officers who are prepared to threaten the State itself. In effect they are saying: "Touch us, and we will hurt you."
That is exactly what they were saying:
I regard the bashing of a Member of Parliament as a threat to the very institution of government itself. It needs to be remembered that in the fight against organised crime in this State in recent decades, one MP has been brutally bashed (Baldwin) and a candidate for Parliament has been killed (McKay) by organised crime . . .
Further on in the statement Mr Sturgess said:
Mr Greiner later gave me a brief summary of what was discussed at this meeting. Mr Temby would not admit that the Bayeh matter had been mishandled, only that it could have been done better.
In late September I again spoke to the Premier expressing my concerns on ICAC inaction . . .
This next quotation is something that one could hang one's hat on:
The (then) Premier was opposed to a royal commission because of the high costs associated with this institution.
A royal commission into police corruption was talked about even when Mr Greiner was Premier. Mr Sturgess finished his statement by saying:
I acknowledge that much has been done since John Avery became Police Commissioner to improve the situation within the NSW Police Service concerning serious corruption. It is my view, however, that serious problems remain.
It is a matter of grave concern to me that three attempts at conducting a comprehensive investigation into police corruption during the life of the Greiner Government were frustrated. The first of these was Operation Asset, which was compromised through the extremely narrow terms of reference which it was given. The second was an NCA investigation, founded after a reference by Mr Pickering (the fate of which is uncertain, but seems to be tied to Operation Milloo). The third was this attempt to have Mr Temby conduct a proper inquiry into police corruption. This ended in Operation Milloo, which . . . has produced very mediocre results.
I went into some detail on the statement of Mr Sturgess because he was the creator of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. He told us in that statement - early last week before the Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption, chaired by the honourable member for Cronulla - that the ICAC is not doing the job for which it was set up. The honourable member for Cronulla has the temerity to say that honourable members should not worry about a royal commission, which has much wider terms of reference, because the ICAC could do the job. In the statement made to the Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption the creator of the ICAC says that the ICAC cannot do the job, is not capable of doing the job - or, if it is capable of doing the job, does not want to do the job that should be done.
(Coffs Harbour) [10.12]: A couple of weeks ago I told the House that I was sad to be contributing to a debate on health funding. That debate also was brought about by the honourable member for South Coast. Tonight I am saddened that the House has before it a motion based on the theories and the prejudices of the honourable member for South Coast, Mr John Hatton. The honourable member said in the previous debate that he felt it was an interesting debate because one learned much about other members. He obviously felt that he had learned a lot about me that night. He is going to learn a lot more about me tonight.
The honourable member for South Coast is the most sanctimonious little man I have ever met. Evidence I shall present before the Parliament this evening will prove that he makes up his mind on what should happen with him as de facto premier of New South Wales and decides that this Parliament must agree with him. I bring to the attention of honourable members correspondence I have laid before the House previously. The Illawarra Mercury
in April 1991 ran an article headed "Hatton `a perjurer'". The honourable member for South Coast perjured himself then. He now is perjuring himself before the House. The article to which I have referred states:
Independent Member for South Coast John Hatton should be charged with perjury and police suspect David Harold Eastman with murder, lawyers told the Winchester Inquest yesterday.
Mr Maguire, counsel for the Australian Federal Police, said Mr Hatton's denial was part of a plan that was "malicious, injurious to the public good . . . and contrived to do damage to the standing of the AFP".
That is no more than the honourable member for South Coast is doing today. He has decided that there is corruption within the New South Wales Police Service and he has decided that Commissioner Tony Lauer is corrupt. In the Chamber this afternoon he said that he had no beef with the Minister; he said that he thinks the Minister is a good fellow. He then called on the Minister to resign over what is going on. This man, the honourable member for South Coast, is off the rails; he believes his own rhetoric. The Sydney Morning Herald
of 24 April 1991 stated:
Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police, (AFP) have recommended that the Member for the South Coast, Mr John Hatton, should be prosecuted for perjury.
The article continued:
Counsel for the Australian Federal Police, Mr Brian Maguire, QC, said he would make no submission regarding Mr Eastman.
However, he said Mr Cahill should consider recommending to the Director of Public Prosecutions that Mr Hatton be prosecuted for perjury. He said Mr Hatton had denied, when giving evidence last year on potential witnesses, that he had spoken to a group of Victorian policemen.
But Mr Maguire said one of these policemen had told the inquest later that he had spoken to Mr Hatton between one and three days before Mr Hatton gave evidence.
That is proof that the honourable member for South Coast has perjured himself in court. He is perjuring himself before the people of New South Wales and this Parliament. The article in the Sydney Morning Herald
There was no basis for criticising any AFP officers - investigations into the Pine Lodge police raid of the late 1970s and Operation Seville shed no light on the murder. Operation Seville revolved around police sanctioning marijuana plantations at Bungendore to trap drug runners in the early 1980s.
The article went on to state:
He said Mr Hatton's criticism of the inquest in an article in The Bulletin on April 2 should be considered a contempt of court.
The honourable member for South Coast has decided that he wants a royal commission. It does not matter how many times he raises this issue and is proved wrong, he will take it one step further. He will not accept that the ICAC and all the other bodies that have examined allegations of police corruption have made findings that are contrary to his own thoughts and beliefs. He then decides that if he cannot get what he wants he will waste millions of taxpayers' dollars on a royal commission to somehow taint the police force of New South Wales. I believe the New South Wales Police Service to be hard working and honest. Last Saturday night I went around the electorate of Coffs Harbour in the company of police to see the problems within the electorate and the way in which the police conduct their operations. The police in my electorate are beyond reproach: they are good people, people who deserve the confidence of this Parliament and of the Minister, which they have been given.
The honourable member for South Coast has decided that he does not want to confirm that confidence so, just to get his own petty attitudes across, he has gone out on a limb and called for a royal commission that will cost millions of dollars. I draw to the attention of the House an article written by Ken Hooper that appeared in the Daily Telegraph Mirror
on Saturday, 21 August 1993. The article makes mention of the honourable member for South Coast. The House should remember that the honourable member for South Coast, the man who talks about corruption, is the man who has blackmailed this State into giving him an extra staff member because he is an Independent member. He told the Government that he would sign an agreement if the Government looked after him and gave him an unfair advantage over every other member of Parliament, apart from Independent members.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Tink):
Order! I call the honourable member for Wollongong to order.
He said that he wanted an extra staff member, to which no other member was entitled. He held the Government to ransom. The honourable member for South Coast told the Premier that he would sign an agreement if the Premier agreed to his terms and I believe that to be corrupt conduct under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act. The honourable member for South Coast has compromised the Premier and the Executive Government. He held them to ransom.
Order! I call the honourable member for Wollongong to order for the second time.
He has said, "You will do this or I will not support you". This is the man who talks about corruption. John Hatton's behaviour is corrupt conduct. His behaviour is unacceptable to the people of New South Wales and this Parliament. He sits there, with an innocent look on his face, saying, "I am the defender of the people". Sorry, John Hatton, you are a perjurer.
On a point of order: I object to the phrase "You are a perjurer". I ask for a withdrawal and apology.
Order! I direct the honourable member for Coffs Harbour to withdraw the remark and apologise.
I withdraw and apologise. Mr Hatton is quoted in the newspapers as being a perjurer. I have laid that evidence before the House; the House and the public can make a decision about it. I quote from Ken Hooper in the Daily Telegraph Mirror
of 21 August:
John Hatton got extra spending for his South Coast electorate, Peter Macdonald demanded that the Government close its North Head sewerage treatment plant . . .
I was present at some of the meetings which led to the eventual signing of that agreement and I could honestly tell the ICAC that all three of those Independents asked for a series of electoral and other inducements (including parliamentary reform) before they would sign. They even negotiated extra staff for themselves.
As Snodgrass, QC would say: "They are guilty of the crime of which they accuse others. One only needs to examine the extra spending in their electorates and the outrageous demands they have made upon Premiers to see the proof of their guilt."
For that man to stand before this House and call for a royal commission into police corruption in this State is nothing short of hypocrisy. It is hypocrital for this man to stand up, wring his hands and nearly come to tears, as he did this evening, in an attempt to convince the public gallery, the press gallery and the Parliament that he is doing it for altruistic motives. This man is corrupt. He has indicated that under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act he has put pressure on the Government -
On a point of order: I object to the phrase "This man is corrupt". I ask for a withdrawal and apology.
Order! I direct the honourable member for Coffs Harbour to withdraw the remark and apologise.
I will withdraw and apologise, but I will also quote from an article that shows that the actions taken by the honourable member for South Coast and his Independent colleagues would, under the definition of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act, if put to the test, be proved corrupt because they have inhibited the Premier, the Executive Government and the Governor in the execution of their duties. They have asked for special privileges that are not afforded any other member of this House. At times Mr Hatton has indicated that other members
should probably have extra staff. I believe that his guilty conscience causes that attitude. Mr Hatton and the Labor Party, by its support for his motion, are playing games with the people of New South Wales. They are denigrating good police officers; they are denigrating the reputation of the police force. They are implying that police in New South Wales are corrupt.
This side of the House has not denied that in every profession there would be corruption. It has been proved to this House and to the people of New South Wales that there are corrupt police officers. However, to call for a royal commission and to put a slur of corruption on police officers in New South Wales at a time of high unemployment, unruliness and disregard for the police force - as I witnessed last Saturday night and Sunday morning - when we need confidence in our police officers, to stand on the soap box and say, "I believe, and because I believe it must be right, that police officers are corrupt" is unacceptable to me and to most people in New South Wales. The honourable member for South Coast has tainted the good reputation of the police officers in my electorate. I will stand up for the officers in my electorate day in and day out and support them for the great job they do in trying circumstances. I cannot stomach people like the honourable member for South Coast making accusations in Parliament about police officers. I quote a transcript of an interview on "Alan Jones Live" of 24 June 1992:
Mr Hatton, more about him in a moment - said on television last night and I quote accurately "I acknowledge the Greiner Government as the cleanest government I have seen in my nineteen years in Parliament" unquote. But on a separate television programme last night he said in relation to Mr Greiner, and I quote "I have made my assessment of the unacceptable nature of the behaviour of both ministers in the Metherell affair . . ."
This relates to the removal from Parliament of Mr Greiner and Mr Moore. Mr Jones continued to quote Mr Hatton:
". . . my mind was made up prior to the use of the word `corrupt' ". In other words, John Hatton is trying to tell us he made his mind up that Nick Greiner was corrupt even before the release of the Temby report".
He has assessed the New South Wales police department. He was a member of a joint parliamentary committee and he heard the evidence. The majority of members of the committee agreed there was no ground for Mr Hatton's dissent. But once again Mr Hatton made his mind up, before he went into that committee, that certain officers of the police force were corrupt. The committee did not change his mind. He dissented from its decision; he has now gone to look for a head on the block.
He has decided that the royal commission will prove him right. Where do we go from here? What happens at the end of the day when Mr Hatton's royal commission finds there is no corruption? Where does he go? He will find some other avenue to say, "The people are not listening to St John. I walk on water. I should be Premier. I think I am God. The people are not listening to me, therefore, I am right. The public must believe I am right. I will continue to pursue it until the bitter end". It is interesting that he makes the allegation within the coward's castle - in this House. His evidence about police corruption is on the table, and it was recommended that Mr Hatton be charged with perjury about that evidence. The prosecution could not prove a case against him and backed off. He has decided that he is right.
He has pre-empted the jury. He said, "I am correct; you people will listen to me and you will give me what I call for, and that is a royal commission". Why does he not trust the ICAC? I suspect the reason is that if the ICAC looked at his agreement with the Government, and also with the Opposition, it would be found that the Premier, the Executive Government and the Opposition had been compromised to the extent that his behaviour amounts to corrupt conduct under the meaning of corruption in the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act. He has influenced and he has altered the process of correct government by saying, "I will give you support but only under these conditions". That is frightening. I want to put on the record an editorial in the South Coast Register
of 1 July 1992. The editorial talks about Nick Greiner, and reflects on the job that the honourable member for South Coast was doing for his electorate. It said:
Now that Nick Greiner has been forced to resign, it is hoped that our State member for the South Coast, John Hatton, will concentrate on the many problems in his region.
Since the NSW elections which unfortunately placed Mr Hatton in a position of great power as "leader" of the Independents on whom the elected Government relies to pass legislation, he has been most outspoken about its policies, and seems determined to force another costly election.
One has to remember that Mr Hatton is a former Labor Party member, commencing his political life twenty years ago on a Labor ticket, and was a staunch supporter of the Teachers Federation, leaving very little room for sympathy with the Liberal Government regardless of its performance.
Mr Hatton, the South Coast has the highest youth unemployment in the State and relies on small business and tourism for its economic survival.
With the Princes Highway south of Huskisson the worst stretch of highway in NSW, tourists are deterred from travelling the region and little is done by the public servants at all levels of Government to assist small business.
Our hospitals are archaic and according to yourself are underfunded.
Mr Hatton, you have been our member during this demise and the taxpaying public has yet to see any funding.
Is it possible to forget the power and glory of toppling elected Governments, and support your electoral neighbour, Mr John Fahey, now Premier, in his endeavours to bring NSW out of its financial ruin, inherited from former, longstanding leaders and their parties.
The South Coast, not Port Macquarie, Mr Hatton, has been your loyal domain for twenty years.
It is time that loyalty is repaid.
This matter is yet another example of Mr Hatton not representing his electorate. He is running off on one of his own topics, which has been proved in the past to be not correct. The honourable member is now
trying to waste taxpayers' money and this House should not support a man newspapers have indicated is a perjurer; a man who prosecutors have said should be charged with perjury. I believe he has repeated that tonight. He is misleading the House and the people of New South Wales, and I cannot support the motion.
(Cabramatta) [10.32]: What a pathetic performance by the honourable member for Coffs Harbour! Well should he leave this Chamber with his head bowed. History will prove the honourable member for South Coast to be a crusader for law and order in this State, and I support his motion for urgent consideration. It is vital that, at this time, the Parliament should debate, and indeed carry, the motion for the appointment of a royal commission into the New South Wales Police Service. As a member of this Parliament, I know all too well what the honourable member for South Coast has gone through as a result of his history as a crime fighter in New South Wales. I have a similar problem in the electorate of Cabramatta in respect of organised crime and the Mr Bigs of this world.
It is a sad indictment of this Parliament and the Police Service that members of Parliament have to endure the attacks that have been made on my property and the assaults that I have heard about from the honourable member for Londonderry, as a result of our stand against the criminals of this State. I find it difficult to relate to the Parliament the incidents that I have experienced but, last November, prior to introducing anti-crime campaigns in my local electorate, I was the subject of an attack. A bucket of red paint was thrown all over my car, which was parked at my home. I assure honourable members that red paint stands out graphically on a white Fairlane. I was with a delegation in China when I received a telephone call from my secretary to tell me of the attack on my car. I knew it was as a result of action I had taken in that week: speaking out against home invasion robbery, delivering pamphlets in the Cabramatta shopping centre, and warning shopkeepers to put their money in the bank and not take it home. I also suggested other initiatives to encourage people to take fewer risks of this type of attack.
As a result, I was the victim of an attack. When I telephoned to find out what was happening, I received very little response. I thank the President of the Legislative Council, who was the leader of the delegation, for assisting me to contact the Minister, who, incidentally, is not in the House. I recall that when he was present during the contributions of a number of previous speakers he leaned over and wanted to know where the honourable member for South Coast was. The Minister has been absent for some time now. He should come into the Chamber and listen to this part of the debate, because it is important.
On my return from China, with the aid of the Minister, I was met by members of special branch at the airport. Thereafter, I was able to tell the officers that an associate of mine - a young lady who worked for the Oceania English School at the time - because of her association with me had been visited by a couple of henchmen whose intention apparently was to intimidate her. She was not present in her office at the time but they removed a photograph from the desk and she later received a letter containing a death threat.
I anticipated that the police would investigate the matter. I did not hear a great deal from them thereafter. In early January I received a direct death threat on my answering machine. I reported it to the police and, surprisingly, nothing happened. I reported the incident on the Wednesday and, on the Saturday night of the same week, my home was attacked again. This time the paint was blue and not red. The car had just been repainted when another assault occurred on my property. Prior to that I had been active in anti-crime activity in the Cabramatta area. This was the second occasion. In went the car for repainting again, and the insurance bills were paid. It was simply another vicious act against the local member of Parliament who was attempting to do something about crime in his electorate.
The police were informed but there was little response. Surprisingly, officers from the technical branch at least assisted me to put a camera in my home and offered advice about security. I have since spent a considerable amount of money improving the security of my home, putting in lights and other things to avoid another attack. I was shocked in April when another attack occurred while I was doing my duty in the community as an instructor at a youth club. I had parked outside the club and this time metallic paint was thrown over the car. That indicated to me that the culprits knew where I was going and were seeking to continue the intimidation. I reported that attack to a detective at Cabramatta police station. Later, I attempted to find the tin that had contained the paint. I found the container and took it to the police station. I left it there for the police, hoping they could fingerprint the can and get back to me. I did not get a call and I did not hear from the police again. Frankly, I consider that that is utterly disgraceful.
The only people who have contacted me since have been officers from the police technical branch, bless their hearts. They checked on the camera and gave me advice about the angle and that sort of thing. It is a sad indictment of this Parliament that the vehicle of a member of this House can be the subject of three paint attacks causing about $8,000 worth of damage. I will have to spend about $10,000 on security for the house but, as yet, I still have no clear-cut information about the position. I also received a second death threat. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Cabramatta are usually attended by 3,000 or 4,000 people. I was quite nervous on the day of the celebrations. I informed the police of the second death threat, and I believe they informed special branch. I thought that at least I would have some protection.
During the day a troubled bystander whom I did not know poked me with an umbrella. I thought it was a knife and I was a little shocked. I handed the umbrella back to him. It could have been a knife, and I did not see any police officer acting as a guardian angel for me. Nevertheless, that is my experience of dealing with the police. If I was at risk again I very much doubt that I would call Cabramatta police. I would handle the matter myself or call some other station because, frankly, apart from giving notice of an insurance claim at that particular station, I would not be bothered making contact. It is sad to say that, but apart from the officers from the technical branch, the response I have received up to date has been a little lousy.
This motion is vital and important to this Parliament. A royal commission investigation will show that the Minister has politicised the Police Service, and that police have become involved in politics through no wish of their own. Let me give honourable members an example of the rubbish that the Police Service has had to tolerate. In 1993 I moved that the House note as a matter of public importance the need to increase police resources. The Minister for Police visited Cabramatta and consulted with the community. The Police Service Weekly
of 3 May 1993 contains a typical example of the muck that the Police Service has to tolerate in terms of the politicisation by the Minister of the good service it provides. The Minister for Police visited Cabramatta to announce that eight additional officers were to be assigned to the police station. The embarrassed district commander had to parade down the street accompanied by the Minister for Police and members of the Liberal Party.
The Police Service Weekly
of 3 May contains an article about the Minister's visit to Cabramatta. The article is accompanied by a photograph that is captioned "Police Minister Terry Griffiths visited the Cabramatta Patrol . . . " The photograph shows the Minister talking to four so-called concerned members of the community. When one looks closely at the photograph, one finds that the person to the left of the Minister is none other than a retired Liberal member of the Legislative Council, Frank Calabro - and I cast no aspersion upon him. Next to him in the photo is Michael Maher, chairman of the Young Liberals in Cabramatta. Next to him is a Mr Chung, a member of the Liberal Party fund-raising committee in Cabramatta, and next to him is the Hon. Helen Sham-Ho. That is the extent of the Minister's consultation with the community.
Is it any wonder that the Police Service is not only embarrassed but wonders what the Minister's policies are all about and in what direction they are being pushed? The article contains some incorrect information in relation to police numbers in Cabramatta. It states, "In fact, in 1988 there were only 24 officers in Cabramatta - we have already trebled that . . . " What utter rot! I received a letter from George Paciullo dated 24 November 1987, and at that time Cabramatta had 39 police officers. An article in another local newspaper of 6 January 1988 quoted the district commander as saying Cabramatta had 69 officers.
These claims are completely lacking in fact. The Police Service has to cope with those misguided facts. Is it any wonder there are problems? The honourable member for Smithfield will deal at length with the Vo case, the terrible atrocities committed, the terrible language used, and the racial prejudice shown by two low-life police officers. That case highlighted the problems in relation to some members of that patrol. The vast majority of officers are good policemen; they are not racist. Unfortunately, I believe a number of officers are racially prejudiced and should not be in the Cabramatta patrol. I will cite some of my experiences with that patrol.
Some years ago an Asian man came to my office with five stitches in the side of his face. He had been in an altercation with another man at the BTR plant at Fairfield. The police failed to charge the non-Asian man, although the Asian man was badly assaulted. As a result of my intervention a charge was finally laid. On another occasion a Vietnamese man came to my office. He had been pulled up by a police officer who thought his driving was rather poor. He did not issue him with an infringement notice. He simply took his licence away, and later lost it. This fellow said to me, "Are the police allowed to take your licence away?" It would not have happened if a non-Asian person was driving the car.
I intervened in relation to that matter. That young officer not only was made to replace the licence but also had to pay for it. A pregnant lady had advances made to her while police were searching her home. I do not believe that would have happened in a non-Asian home. The last incident I will mention involves a Vietnamese man whose vehicle, it was suggested, was involved in an accident. The police visited his house and literally took over the home. They used the telephone without asking and swore at him. It would not have happened in a non-Asian home. They would not have had the hide to take over in that way.
It is good to see that the Minister has returned to the Chamber. He sneaked in the backdoor with his tail between his legs, and is having a natter about how he is going. It is good to see you, Minister. The honourable member for South Coast has been here during the whole debate. Those incidents I have mentioned are of concern to me, but more so is the concern that the Cabramatta patrol has not been able to keep its Vietnamese police officers. For some years I have been urging the Cabramatta patrol to employ a police officer of Vietnamese origin. It had one earlier this year, but he lasted only two months. I am told by a good source from the Vietnamese community group, a welfare worker, that he did not get the support that was necessary. Therefore, two months later he was transferred out of Cabramatta, where he is needed. When I visited the United States I discovered that it had a different approach to policemen of Vietnamese origin. They are used very well there.
It is very important for us to engender confidence in the police force, but we will not be able to do that until men and women of Asian origin become members. New South Wales has
approximately 12,900 police officers, the majority of whom are good, hard-working police officers who are not racist. It is unfortunate that a minority of police officers are involved in this sort of nonsense. It is pleasing that the police Minister is back in the Chamber. I think he was rather frightened to be here because of some of the issues I might have raised.
What about the ticket?
I might pass on the ticket to my friend, who may raise it. It is important that the royal commission address the matter of racial prejudice within the police force, with particular emphasis on the Asian community.
(Eastwood) [10.52]: Unlike a number of other people who have spoken in this debate, I have had a longstanding interest in matters relating to the police and the Independent Commission Against Corruption and, as the honourable member for South Coast knows better than most, I have been pursuing these issues in the ICAC hearings with Commissioner Temby. In particular, as the honourable member for South Coast will recall, the committee asked a number of questions relating to the shortcomings of Operation Milloo in relation to Sergeant Cook and some of the issues that were left unanswered by that report. I do not hesitate to say that the Milloo report was incompetent and incomplete and will for ever reflect very badly on Commissioner Temby and the ICAC.
However, given that that may now be widely perceived to be the outcome, the question is whether the honourable member for South Coast has put in the balance the future of the ICAC. That is what is happening here. I direct those comments particularly to the honourable member for South Coast, who has a track record on the Cook matter and the Milloo matter, and I ask him to bear that in mind. I have sat in this Chamber and in my room listening to the monitor, listening to the Australian Labor Party speakers. I say to the honourable member for South Coast, the honourable member for Manly and the honourable member for Bligh that nearly all the speeches that have been delivered tonight by ALP members could equally have been delivered and would have been in order on a second reading of an ICAC abolition bill.
As far as the ALP is concerned, this motion and this debate is about the abolition of the ICAC. There are a number of shortcomings in the Milloo report and I have had a number of concerns about police investigations that have come to a dead end at the ICAC, but to put the future of the ICAC in jeopardy at this point is a grave mistake. If this seems somewhat melodramatic, I invite the honourable member for South Coast, in particular, as well as the honourable member for Manly and the honourable member for Bligh, to read the second reading speech of the Leader of the Opposition on the original ICAC bill. In those days his speech was lukewarm. The speech I heard was a declaration of war on the ICAC.
As the honourable member for South Coast would know better than most, because he is crucially interested in ICAC matters, it is no secret that the Government has not been finding it easy to fill the position of the Commissioner for the ICAC. If this motion is passed, it will be impossible to fill that position with anyone meaningful. Is that really what the honourable member for South Coast wants for the ICAC? If the right person does not fill the job, that will be the end of the ICAC. One has only to read the speeches that have been made by honourable members on all sides of the House tonight to understand the tension that exists about the ICAC.
I suggest to the honourable member for South Coast that this is the last best chance for the ICAC. In the next Parliament this Government - or, heaven forbid, the Opposition - in 99 chances out of 100 will control the House, and if the ICAC is nobbled, I do not see how it will be resuscitated. I implore the honourable member for South Coast, as someone who has had a longstanding interest in public administration, a longstanding interest in corruption issues, to think long and hard about it. Sometimes it is difficult to know who is running the ALP. Honourable members on the opposite side speak with forked tongues; about three tongues seem to be talking.
The Leader of the Opposition for the time being appears to be in charge, but one does not know from day to day who will be in charge. I suggest to the honourable member for South Coast that someone who has and will have in the foreseeable future a very strong influence on ALP matters in this State and a very strong interest in the ICAC, is none other than Neville Wran, who is in no doubt whatsoever about the future of the ICAC. I invite the honourable member for South Coast and the other two non-aligned Independents to look at some press clippings that are no more than eight days old. They will see the heading, "State corruption circuses infringe civil rights: Wran". He is referring to the ICAC.
He is saying that after the next election the ICAC ought to be abolished. He is saying that the laws of the ICAC are a blot on New South Wales. At other times he has been quoted as saying that the ICAC will finally disappear up its own fundamental orifice investigating itself. I am asking the honourable member for South Coast and the other two non-aligned Independents: are they, tonight, wittingly or unwittingly to become co-conspirators in this exercise? If they support this motion for a royal commission in lieu of referring the matter to the ICAC, that is what will happen. It is a green light to people such as Neville Wran to take the running of this issue in the parliamentary Labor Party to abolish the ICAC. Those words, spoken by Wran, could not possibly be stronger, and are capable of being repeated in this House. I have no doubt about that.
For many years I have supported the concept of an independent standing royal commission, which is what the ICAC is. Is the honourable member for South Coast going to turn his back on it and walk away? I do not mean in any premeditated sense, because I think his heart is still in it, but that will be the consequence of his act. There is no love for the ICAC on the other side of the House and precious
little for it on this side of the House. The speeches in this debate could have been equally in order in a debate on an ICAC abolition bill. How does the amendment proposed by the Premier fit the bill in regard to the concerns that both the honourable member for South Coast and I have had on the shortcomings of the ICAC investigating the police?
I suggest to the honourable member for South Coast that the amendment moved by the Premier fits very well. First, as I understood what the Premier said, he invited both the Leader of the Opposition and the honourable member for South Coast to make a contribution to the selection of the person who would, as an acting ICAC commissioner, investigate this matter. That is not a matter of small moment. It is an open invitation, and a very important one, which seems to get around one of the fundamental problems which has manifested itself in the way in which Mr Temby - who will for ever rue the day that he wrote the Milloo report - conducted himself in that matter. The second concern relates to a matter that the honourable member for South Coast and I have shared an opinion on in the past. Who will do the actual investigating? It has been made quite plain by the terms of the amendment moved by the Premier that personnel other than serving or former New South Wales police will be doing the investigating.
At the end of the day, the important point - it is a matter of great symbolism - is that it will be done under the overall umbrella of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, notwithstanding that for all material or operational and investigative purposes the two key principles will be met. First, there will be consultation around the Parliament with respect to who will run the investigation and who will staff it. Second, if the amendment is not carried and the matter goes to a royal commission, I ask the honourable member for South Coast, the honourable member for Bligh and the honourable member for Manly to contemplate the signals that will be sent to those who might otherwise be competent to run the ICAC for the next five years. We are flat out trying to get someone now. If a royal commission is established we will have no chance. Is that what the Independents want? The substance of what they are contemplating doing tonight is to close down the ICAC. I have heard from the gallery "Hear! Hear!" whenever there is a suggestion that the ICAC be closed down.
The honourable member for Wollongong has been making inane interjections all night. He is burying himself at every attempt. I ask the Independents to contemplate that. That is the level the matter has reached. The contributions of the honourable member for Wollongong and every other member of the Opposition are a cause for grave concern in relation to where we go from here on this matter. That is why I feel very comfortable, having pursued the Milloo matter in this House more vigorously, I suggest, than anyone on the Opposition side and as vigorously as anyone in this House, bar the honourable member for South Coast. I ask the honourable member whether that is what he wants to see happen. I feel comfortable with the amendment of the Premier, which is able to get around most of the problems that we have been concerned about which arose in Milloo. I ask the honourable member for South Coast to take those matters into account before making a decision on this motion.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Hazzard):
Order! I call the honourable member for Wollongong to order.
(Smithfield) [11.3]: I must respond to the hysterical outburst from the honourable member for Eastwood. I was on the Committee of the Office of the Ombudsman with him, where he was a quiet and gentle chap. We proceeded with a bipartisan approach.
Order! I call the honourable member for Eastwood to order.
I am astounded. Someone must have put a little bit of rocket fuel in his drinks tonight. I do not know how he came up with the views he recently expressed. He spoke utter nonsense. He should not try to cloud the issue. There seems to be an attempt to create a smokescreen on this, to somehow pretend that it has something to do with the abolition of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. I cannot believe, Mr Acting-Speaker - and you would really appreciate this - how one of your colleagues could say that we have the temerity to suggest that we should abolish the ICAC. What is the Government going to do with this man? This is absolutely ridiculous; it has nothing to do with the ICAC. Honourable members should look at the litany of cases that have been brought to the attention of this House in the last six years and recently with the no confidence motion against the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services and the motion of the honourable member for South Coast tonight.
Many honourable members would be familiar with the case that I have had some interest in with regard to two officers at Cabramatta. I intend to look at that matter again. That matter - where a Mr Vo was allegedly assaulted by two police officers - lead me to question whether it was an isolated incident. The assault was particularly brutal. An independent witness was dismissed by police officers at the scene as being a wog and he was told that he would be arrested for hindering police. The inquiry was incompetent and corrupt. The investigating officer had the temerity to ring the two police officers concerned to tell them to get their stories together. Mr Acting-Speaker, as you would recall, get their stories together they did. It was only because of telephone intercepts that we know about it.
By New South Wales police who charged them.
I will get to that. The investigating officer found them not sustained. In the second investigation the superintendent found that there was no collusion, no racism, despite the fact that the telephone transcript is littered with the words wog, boofhead and gook.
That sounds like some of your interjections, Carl.
I suggest that the Minister read the Ombudsman's report; he is speaking from ignorance now. The Minister should read the report - I have it here. The Minister will see that he is an embarrassment to himself. He should have looked through the report. The second investigation found that the complaints were not sustained. In fact, he found the investigating officer to be a model citizen of the police force - the investigating officer was the one who telephoned and said, "Hi, boys, I'm going to investigate you. Better get this one under wraps. Go and talk to so and so and sort your stories out. No problems". They would have got away with it.
That is the third time you have made that remark. Table it.
I am not going to table it. You listen to this. Tell us about the parking ticket. The honourable member for Hurstville knows all about the parking ticket. That is corruption, and you know it.
Say that outside. You haven't got the guts.
Order! I call the honourable member for Smithfield to order. I call the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services to order. I direct that the debate be directed through the Chair, not across the table.
I am concerned that the Minister for Police, yet again, dismisses this particular matter as an isolated incident.
Never! I have never dismissed it.
He just said that he never dismissed it. Every time there is a problem in the New South Wales police force the Minister says, "That is only a couple of rotten apples. We'll toss them out. End of problem. They were all isolated incidents". This is why we have the motion before the House tonight. We are sick and tired of hearing this said by the Commissioner for Police, by the Minister for Police and by the Premier. We want it dealt with.
Do you believe in entrenched corruption?
I am concerned about the level of corruption. How can we know, Minister? We do not know.
Order! I have directed the honourable member for Smithfield to direct his comments through the Chair. I ask the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services to cease interjecting.
I accept that, but I am prepared to respond to the interjection of the Minister. I do not know the answer to that question. I suspect that there is not corruption from the senior level down to the junior level. However, I suspect that there is corruption across the Police Service - the extent of which we do not know. I am confident that that corruption is not controlled at the senior level. However, a royal commission will discover the length, breadth and extent of corruption in the New South Wales Police Service. I hope that at the end of that inquiry we can be as confident as the Minister. He dismisses these sorts of allegations. He says, "We have the Don Bradman of police commissioners; he is scoring centuries and double centuries. Don't worry about it. Every police officer in New South Wales constitutes the best Police Service in the world". That is nonsense. The Minister cannot say that. When he does he makes a fool of himself.
Don't you have faith in the commissioner?
I will get to the commissioner. I will read to the Minister part of the covering letter that the Ombudsman sent to me on the Vo matter. It states, "Police officers maintain very different standards for the investigation of criminal conduct of alleged civilian offenders compared to an alleged offender who is a member of the New South Wales police force". That probably is one of the most important findings from that incident. The Ombudsman went on to say:
It is impossible to estimate how widespread the sorts of practices exposed by this report may be. By the attitude of the police before the inquiry it would not be safe to assume that this is an isolated incident.
They tell me he is a lawyer.
Let us see if the Minister is still in that chair.
Come on bumfluff, we will listen to you.
The Minister has his audience in the gallery. He is referred to as the doormat by senior police in this State. He is an embarrassment. At least Ted Pickering had a go. Look at you: you are the lick spittle of the New South Wales Police Service. That is all you are. They walk over you. They wipe their boots on you. Look at you. You are an embarrassment. Why do you not stand up and show some spine. Why do you not take control of the New South Wales Police Service. Ted Pickering is laughing at you.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Hazzard):
Order! The Chair was about to take the next step. Honourable members perhaps realise that they were exceeding the bounds of reasonableness and decorum in the House. The House would like both members to cease the level of disputation across the Chamber and direct their comments through the Chair. The House is entitled to a level of decorum so that debate proceeds in a reasonable way. I ask both members involved in the exchange to acknowledge that. The honourable member for Smithfield may continue.
Thank you, Mr Acting-Speaker. I hope that the royal commission takes into account some of the matters I have raised in relation to the Vo report. I refer to fabrication of evidence, collusion and incompetent inquiries. One of the things that has always concerned me is the level of acquittals in relation to charges brought against police officers. I used to be of the view that maybe police officers were being unfairly charged. That may well be the case, but I would be interested, after having a detailed look at the report from the Ombudsman, whether a small or a large element of the acquittals are because of the things that were discovered in the Vo matter. Is there collusion? The term "get back to the code of silence" was used. One of the witnesses before the Ombudsman's inquiry actually said that police officers regularly get their evidence together. It would be quite easy for a royal commissioner to investigate a number of the acquittals that have occurred in respect of police officers over the last six years and compare the evidence given by police witnesses in those inquiries, as he did in this case.
We would soon be able to discover whether identical stories are constantly being given before tribunals, courts and inquiries. Certain conclusions may or may not be able to be drawn. This is something that we must get to the bottom of. We must be able to say to the people of this State that police are not giving crook evidence; they are reliable and honest witnesses and they are not doing the things that the Ombudsman suggested they might be doing. I am concerned about the delay in charges being brought against police officers in the Vo matter. It took five months for charges to be brought and I understand that the matter will not be heard until some time well into next year. The member for South Coast has had his integrity and motives drawn into question and scrutinised by the honourable member for Coffs Harbour. The only thing that needs to be said here tonight about the honourable member for Coffs Harbour is that he did himself a grave injustice by opening his mouth. The less he speaks the better.
It is about time you both woke up to yourselves.
What does the Minister think about police corruption? Let him speak in the debate. We all want to hear the Minister defend the actions of mates of this Government such as Col Cole, the man who loves psychiatric reports. He is very sick. I hear that it is a bit of a chuckle amongst Government members that they managed to wheedle their way out of the Frenchs Forest affair by allowing the Police Service to let Col Cole off the hook. It is disgraceful, Minister.
He is not off the hook; he will present evidence and we will continue to pursue him.
When? I would be very interested to know when Col Cole will be giving evidence because I do not believe he ever will give evidence. A royal commissioner has to inquire into these sorts of things. Can people in the Police Service who are allegedly involved in improper conduct get out of being scrutinised and questioned by presenting psychiatric reports? This is a thing that has to be resolved.
How do you refute a psychiatric report, son? Come on bumfluff, tell us.
Mr Acting-Speaker, I would like to respond. This man needs to be told certain things. If he continues to interject, it is with some control that I will resist the temptation of responding. If the Minister wants to know the answers to the questions he should support the motion.
Come on, bumfluff.
You suggest that you know something about the presentation of medical evidence.
On a point of order: it has been the practice of this House for a long time that the person who has the call is the only member who may speak. The Minister has been sitting at the table all night interjecting. I have noticed that you have called both parties to order a number of times but I point out that the Minister is the culprit in most instances. I ask you to call him to order.
On the point of order: the honourable member for Londonderry has endeavoured to make a point of order but has jumped to conclusions and has not listened to both sides. He has not been in the House all the time to make an assessment. It is necessary for him to have been here for the whole debate when the youngster started his speech so that he heard everything that the youngster said and the offending statements that he made.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Hazzard):
Order! The level of interjection has not helped in maintaining the level of decorum that should be maintained in the House to ensure a reasonable flow of debate. I have issued a number of warnings and requests and I again state that the Chair would prefer a lower level of interjection so that the debate may continue in a reasonable way. The Chair will not be averse to calling members to order again if interjections become beyond the bounds of the cut and thrust of debate.
On a point of order: I object to the Minister referring to an honourable member as "the youngster". That is demeaning and quite deliberately so. I ask you to instruct the Minister to refer to the honourable member for Smithfield with the appropriate respect and decorum due to the honourable member for Smithfield. The Minister should observe the proprieties of the House at all times.
On the point of order: if anyone in this House finds being called a youngster offensive, I will withdraw the term. Most people in the gallery and in this House would find being called a youngster an absolute thrill.
Order! The Chair is grateful for the Minister's response. There is no point of order.
I do not mind being called young. At least I am not suffering from senile decay. Before I was rudely interrupted by the Minister I was presenting to the House some of the problems relating to Col Cole. It has been suggested that he would have difficulty in giving evidence. I would certainly like him to come clean about the Frenchs Forest affair and his relationship with the Commissioner of Police. And I would like to hear what the Commissioner of Police has to say when that evidence is presented before a royal commission. I would like to know - I posit the question - whether the commissioner would survive a royal commission to which evidence was presented by Col Cole concerning that relationship. I would like to know whether there is a conspiracy between the commissioner and Col Cole. These are the sorts of things that will not be resolved by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. They will not be resolved by a parliamentary or judicial inquiry on its own; they can only be resolved by a royal commission.
Do you have no confidence? Should we abolish it?
Mr Acting-Speaker, I recommend that certain action be taken against that gentleman -
- that senile gentleman. That will occur after the royal commission has released its findings. Surely the royal commission would have to find that the present Minister for Police is one of the most incompetent Ministers for Police this State has ever had.
On a point of order: I find it outrageous that the incompetent young honourable member for Smithfield could make such an assertion.
Order! There is no point of order.
Tell us about the ICAC.
I would like to tell the honourable member about the ICAC. I do not have any faith in the Independent Commission Against Corruption dealing with allegations of police corruption. One has only to examine the Collins affair to be concerned about the dealings of the ICAC. One has only to look at the report -
The Minister considers that the ICAC should carry out an inquiry into improper conduct and impropriety. Allegations of improper conduct and impropriety were made in relation to the Collins affair. In that regard the ICAC held a private inquiry. It closed the doors, the proceedings were held in camera. And did the ICAC examine anyone? No. The commissioner decided to check out a few documents; he decided to nose through a few bits of paper and come to a finding.
On a point of order: the young honourable member for Smithfield is attacking the integrity of a member who is not in the House to defend himself. The member has been found to be innocent. It is outrageous for this youngster to be making such ridiculous assertions.
Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Smithfield should proceed.
Order! The Chair is not prepared to tolerate the exchanges between the Minister and the honourable member. If there is another exchange like that, I will put both members on three calls to order immediately.
I have no confidence in the ICAC dealing with the matter, because of the kinds of reports that were produced on the Collins and the Blackburn matters. I am concerned that the commissioner and the ICAC would close the doors when they were considering evidence. The public would not know what was going on. The report produced would be a whitewash. There has to be a royal commission. Hearings have to be public and people have to be examined and cross-examined. I draw the attention of the House to the Barry Morris affair. If the matter of the bombing of the Blue Mountains City Council went to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the same result would be produced as was produced in relation to the Blackburn affair and the Collins affair. The issue would go off to an assistant commissioner; the doors would be closed; a few documents would be checked and a report would be produced. That would be the end of the matter. That is not what is expected.
On a point of order: the Blue Mountains affair is under active investigation by the Police Service -
For two years.
- and two parts to the terms of reference of that investigation were issued in the House two weeks ago: the first being that the allegations made by the Opposition were to be investigated in detail -
Order! There is no point of order.
As in Queensland, many things will come out of the woodwork when a royal commission is established. Mr Acting-Speaker, you will freak when you hear some of the allegations that come out. [Time expired.
(Ashfield) [11.23]: I am disappointed that the Minister for Police is leaving the Chamber. I can understand his sensitivity about this issue, an important issue that concerns the House deciding today either that it supports the resolution of the honourable member for South Coast that the time has come for a royal commission into the New South Wales Police Service or that it supports the
Government's amendment that the matters be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The Parliament has been asked to decide not about today's issue, whether there is a substantial case to be made for or against corruption, but to which jurisdiction the matters of corruption should be referred. Both in the Chamber and in my office I have listened to the debate. The Government has said nothing about the potential failure of a royal commission. On the Government's own admission, however, myriad examples have been put forward in which the Independent Commission Against Corruption was not a suitable vehicle.
I should like to make a few points in relation to the Government's argument that the matters should go to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. It is not widely known that on 18 December 1993 an advertisement appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald
called for a commissioner for the Independent Commission Against Corruption. No commissioner has since been appointed. The management consultant appointed by the Government to go through the list of applicants was none other than a former Liberal Party member of Parliament, Lloyd Lange. As a management consultant, the former Liberal Party member of Parliament is now being paid a handsome sum by the Government to refine appointments for the next chairperson of the ICAC.
Mr Temby gave the warning in December and again in March that, because of the process of selection of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, it would take almost eight weeks to make an appointment. An appointment has to be approved by Cabinet; it has to be affirmed by the Parliament - and 30 days remain. Even if the Government were to make the appointment tomorrow a commissioner for the Independent Commission Against Corruption would not be appointed for at least two months. What is the Government's motivation in the delayed appointment? Honourable members should consider the comments made by the honourable member for Barwon. Consideration should be given to the comments made by all members.
There are plenty of people outside the political spectrum - people who are not members of Parliament, people who are not current legislators, people who are not responsible for the administration of the ICAC - who could make valid criticisms or speak in support of that body. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is not being muzzled by the Parliament; it is being misled by the National Party interest in the New South Wales Cabinet. Several Cabinet members have appeared before the ICAC. When that debate raged in this Parliament I told the House about the potential abuses of power. There was so much interest in the legislation that the Government had to bring it in three times. I continued my warning about abuses of power. I remember one particular night when John Dowd, who was then leading for the Government, answered an interjection of mine. I asked what the real purpose of the ICAC was. His words ring loud still: "The purpose of the Independent Commission Against Corruption is to get the Labor Party".
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has not got the Labor Party. The whole of the 1988 election campaign was all about people in the Labor Party being on the take - being crooks, being cheats. The only people who have slipped into the net of the ICAC are Government members, and the majority of them are National Party members. That is why no commissioner has been appointed to the ICAC. The Government wants to wind down the commission. That is why the Government is using this debate as a vote of no confidence in the commission. The Government wants to abolish the commission. It is a wonder that the Government has not introduced legislation abolishing it already.
The time is right to clear the air in relation to the New South Wales Police Service. At worst, we have been bombarded by allegations of systemic police corruption. At best, we have been bombarded by claims of bungled and gross maladministration. The Police Service cannot have any confidence in itself, nor can the public have any confidence in the Police Service, while allegations of the sort heard from the honourable member for South Coast and other honourable members of Parliament today continue to be made in public. That is my primary motivation in supporting this motion.
Over the past five or six years we have been regaled with actual accounts and allegations that must shatter everyone's confidence in the Police Service - from the shooting of Brennan and Gundy to deaths resulting from high speed police chases, from allegations that police have been involved not only in covering up crime but have been involved in a range of serious crime, including armed robberies. For the past six years this Parliament has been involved in one way or another with allegations of police corruption culminating in the ICAC Operation Milloo. That ICAC inquiry only dealt with the relationship between police and their informants.
As the honourable member for South Coast said in his speech, there are allegations of corruption that go way beyond Operation Milloo to police relationships with paedophile networks and drug runners. I was pleased to hear the Minister for Police say, after he had listened to the honourable member for Heffron - who has pursued paedophile maladministration in this State by a variety of people, whether by wilful failure to prosecute or deliberate inaction, say, when she raised the two latest failed actions against Churchill, Wells and Hazell last week - that he thought it was disgusting. He felt that case was an absolute disgrace. He also said he would do what he could - and so he should.
If members do not believe what the honourable member for Heffron has said, just believe the fact that certain witnesses were not called in the court case. Members should also believe that in some of the cases before the court in the last couple of weeks in relation to paedophile activity in New South Wales society the
police evidence was perverted. Is there a worse crime? This is not a political matter between the Government and the Opposition. That is tantamount to the most massive maladministration of justice in the State. I was a member of the parliamentary police committee. In regard to certain material revealed to the press - so I am not giving committee secrets away - I was shocked.
Did anyone know that the policeman in charge of paedophile prosecutions in the New South Wales police force was the principal paedophile protector? That had been known for years and years before anyone did anything about it. Here I am, a member of Parliament, supposed to know what happens in society. I attended the police committee and heard this confidential information. Of course this sort of thing is shocking, but what have we done about it since the police report? Nothing has happened. In the two major paedophile cases in New South Wales the State has been beaten. The State has been beaten because of perversion of justice in that matter and in other cases.
My colleague the honourable member for Londonderry has been beaten not once but several times. He has also been threatened. Sometimes he shrugs it off. This is important not because he and I or anyone from the Government - or anyone else for that matter - are more important than other persons, but because it shows what can happen in our society. Something must be done. That is why we should have this royal commission. It is time the air was cleared. The only way that can be done - and it will be of benefit to the Police Service and the public - is by holding a royal commission. The honourable member for South Coast raised a number of fresh, serious allegations relating to police corruption and the persecution of whistleblowers within the service by the State's most senior police.
If these allegations prove to be true, no doubt confidence in our Police Service will be further eroded. However, these allegations and a range of other serious matters must be investigated. The only way that these issues can be addressed is through a royal commission. I want to say something about the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Maybe I have had a battering since 1988 because of allegations of how crook the Labor Party was and how we were all on the take. I want to refer also to some of the promises that the Government has made over the past couple of years at least. In August 1992, following an ICAC report of former judge Adrian Roden into the unauthorised release of government information, my counterpart, the Attorney General in the upper House, announced the following:
the Attorney General moves on ICAC Report.
Criminal law will be amended as suggested by Commissioner Roden, and I expect this legislation to be in place by the end of the year .
Something must have happened because in December 1992 he released another exposure bill on reforms relating to official corruption and again promised to introduce legislation. In the Governor's Speech in 1993 it was announced, "Legislation will be introduced to reform the criminal law in this area". It is now May 1994 and what have we got? Since August 1992 the Government could not even bring in a bill to define bribery and corruption. For almost two years the Government has had the opportunity - after receiving a report from a judge who chaired the ICAC committee on its terms of reference dealing with the unauthorised release of government information - to do something but nothing has been done.
I want to refer to some matters raised by the honourable member for South Coast. Senior Constable Locke gave details in a statutory declaration, which she prepared this year, of what happened in regard to the systemic corruption of police and the hostility towards and persecution of whistleblowers. She details, as has the honourable member for South Coast, what appears to be a most alarming conversation with the Commissioner of Police just prior to his appointment. She alleges that she was ostracised by Mr Lauer and by Col Cole and other police. According to the honourable member for South Coast, her statutory declaration states that Assistant Commissioner Tony Lauer said, "Police don't like whistleblowers . . . police who dob in other police".
This is an astounding allegation against the State's most senior policeman. On anyone's view, it requires urgent investigation, as does her allegation that a member of the fraud squad touted for business for Nelson Chad's private investigation agency and during police working hours actually worked for Chad's company. I have had representations from one of my constituents who has experienced a major problem involving fraud. His tale to me is one regrettably of a litany of failure. If there is a ring of maladministration - even though it may not be deliberate - people will be suspicious and say something is seriously wrong.
My constituent's allegation of fraud passed through five police officers before anything happened. And what happened? A year ago the policeman caught a plane to go to interview the suspects. Since then, nothing has happened. My constituent's solicitor has told him that it is not a civil matter but that it is a criminal matter. Yet, after having received legal advice, the criminal investigation of police has not taken place. That is a serious matter. If this motion is carried, I will certainly implore my constituent to go before a royal commissioner.
The honourable member for South Coast referred to matters raised with the staff of the present Minister for Police about the promotion of a senior policeman. I want to know why the Minister for Police remained silent about that allegation. I believe it was incumbent on the Minister to make a public statement about the issue. There may have been a valid reason for not doing so - the matter being sub judice and possibly a few other reasons - but I believe if someone has made a serious allegation, such as that raised by the honourable member for South Coast in this Parliament, surely the Minister for Police should taken some action.
The honourable member for South Coast claimed that the Minister did nothing about the issue. In my view, that requires urgent attention, as does his allegation that operations Casper and Casper 2 were compromised by leaks involving the now assistant commissioner. Myriad other matters require swift action. I am told by the honourable member that at least 12 current and former police officers have agreed to testify before a royal commission. Others have mentioned Operation Asset. It was important enough for the then Attorney General and the then Minister for Police, the Hon. E. P. Pickering, to brief the Opposition, to ring the newspaper editors and advise them that Operation Asset was an investigation into 50 serving and former New South Wales police officers allegedly involved in illegal gambling, drugs, prostitution, money laundering and case fixing.
I can understand why the then Attorney General, Mr Dowd, and the then Minister for Police approached the Leader of the Opposition, Bob Carr, and the honourable member for Liverpool, and rang the newspapers to say, "What we want is absolute secrecy about this issue. We do not want it to be leaked". That is important and it is an illustration of how both sides of politics should work. The allegation of the honourable member for South Coast is that Operation Asset was totally compromised by leaks to the target of the investigation by someone who now holds a senior position in the New South Wales Police Service. The entire operation was compromised.
In that instance the political parties were agreed but, suddenly, the whole operation was white-anted by police within the system. I understand that this very serious allegation is supported by statements by police officers. On another occasion Commissioner Avery, then Assistant Commissioner Lauer and Chief Superintendent Col Cole were briefed by police. My understanding is that the Office of the Ombudsman was not informed of the allegations, despite a legal requirement to do so. The report of the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence into the activities of Detective Sergeant Tunstall reported that he was involved in a number of murders, drug trafficking, importation and prostitution.
According to the honourable member for South Coast, the report shows that Tunstall was involved in the murder of a prostitute at Strathfield in the early 1980s and the possible murder of a private investigator Neil Patrick Hogan in 1990. Are they not substantial allegations? It is alleged a police officer was involved in the murder of a prostitute and a private investigator. The honourable member for South Coast made a series of allegations which he said are based not only on fact but on statements by police officers. No one I have spoken to believes that every member of the Police Service is without sin, but I suggest that 99.999 per cent are honest. [Time expired
(Orange - Minister for Energy, and Minister for Local Government and Co-operatives) [11.43]: There is no doubt that tonight's motion is in many ways the result of frustration on the part of the honourable member for South Coast, who has spent 20-odd years in this Parliament and who many would regard as having taken the cause of police corruption in this State upon himself. Debate in this House will always be emotional. The forum of the Parliament, like no other, provides an opportunity for members of Parliament to come before the House and quote all the innuendo and hearsay possible. Tonight, I have witnessed members of Parliament at each other's throats, using language that I regard as unbecoming to the Parliament. I say to honourable members on both sides of the House that I am disgusted at some of the performances I have witnessed here tonight. The thrust of the motion is the establishment of a royal commission. It is easy to talk about establishing a royal commission. It is easy to grab a headline and say you have pushed for it. Honourable members should think about what royal commissions have achieved. How many royal commissions has this State had since the late 1880s? There have been 214. Can honourable members remember the last royal commission?
Yes, the building industry royal commission.
What about the one before that?
Order! I take it that the Minister for Energy and Minister for Local Government and Co-operatives is directing his remarks through the Chair, and that does not invite response from the Opposition bench.
New South Wales has had 214 royal commissions since the late 1800s.
Order! I call the honourable member for Moorebank to order.
The recommendations of the bulk of those are lying around archives in this State, gathering dust. They have achieved very little in terms of ongoing results and being able to produce a report and put in place mechanisms to overcome the problems which caused the need for a royal commission in the first place. I suggest the process of a royal commission is not the way to go, particularly as we have the Independent Commission Against Corruption. It was because of the failure of successive royal commissions, because of the failure over the years of just about every parliamentary and public inquiry, and every attempt by a Minister for Police to put in place anti-corruption procedures, that the Government moved to establish the Independent Commission Against Corruption. What did those royal commissions achieve? They undertook high profile investigations but they achieved very little in terms of implementation. And what about the ongoing supervision of that implementation? There was none.
That is the reason the Government appointed the ICAC, a commission independent of government, a commission answerable to this Parliament. As other honourable members have said, the Parliament has the
ability to ratify the appointment of the Commissioner for the Independent Commission Against Corruption. If the Parliament is not satisfied with the person selected, it can say, "No, find someone else in whom the Parliament can have confidence". It is not merely a case of members of Parliament having confidence in the commissioner; it relates to the perception of the people of this State and whether they also have confidence. That is vital.
What honourable members heard tonight from the honourable member for South Coast covered matters relating not only to the period 1988 to date, but also to the period prior to 1988. That is why I believe his motion is probably expelling his frustration. When the ICAC was established and Mr Temby was appointed commissioner, he made it clear - and there are letters on file from the former commissioner - that he was not prepared to investigate matters that have to do with former administrations. It is little wonder that the honourable member for South Coast has been unable to get the ICAC to examine the matters that he has raised tonight that go back into the past. Honourable members do not have to ask why the commission has not investigated the matter since that time.
Might I suggest to the honourable member for South Coast and to all honourable members that it may be that we have failed. Maybe we, as members of Parliament, have failed, because what we have not done is give a joint reference to the ICAC to have investigated the matters we want investigated. What this House should do tonight is give the ICAC that chance. The success of a motion for the establishment of a royal commission will not only be a vote of no confidence in the ICAC, it will also send a message to the people of this State that they can no longer have confidence in anything done by the ICAC. It will be a vote of no confidence in the overall administration of the ICAC and in any investigation it might undertake in regard to police corruption. Earlier today the acting commissioner issued a press release urging the Government to permanently appoint a new commissioner. The press release indicates that because the commissioner holds such a serious and high-profile position, notwithstanding the amount of money paid, very few people are prepared to take it on. That is what it indicates, if only those opposite would think through the process.
If the ICAC is undermined and if we say we do not want someone who is independent of the Government to fill the position, potential applicants will be told, in effect, not to apply. The role of the ICAC is not only to do what a royal commission does, that is, to conduct an investigation at the heart of the matters that have been raised by members in this debate and by witnesses who would appear before a royal commission. The ICAC has those powers. If the ICAC conducted the investigation, it would be able to recommend what immediate and long-term changes need to be made to overcome the police culture about which everyone is so concerned.
Governments change, and that is the difficulty faced by the honourable member for South Coast. If the government changes, who will be the independent watchdog? If the Australian Labor Party attained office tomorrow - God forbid! - who would oversee the royal commission's recommendations? The new government could whitewash the recommendations because no one would have the requisite independence. That is the real crux of the powers of the ICAC. The ICAC has successfully played an education role in particular areas. It has said, "To avoid the potential of these processes, you need to put these mechanisms in place". That has not been done with the Police Service.
The terms of reference put forward by the honourable member for South Coast, and which are supported by the Government in its amendment, provide the opportunity not only to blow corrupt police out of the water but the serving officers who are genuinely concerned about the future will have the opportunity to get on with the job. They will be able to say to their mates who are not pulling their weight, "Get out of way, we want to work with the people of New South Wales and provide them with the proper mechanisms". Royal commissions fail in relation to the ongoing implementation of recommendations; the ICAC is the body that can deal with ongoing recommendations.
After the Premier had moved the amendment to the motion I had discussions with him. I firmly reiterate to the Parliament that the Government is committed, if the amendment is carried, to making this a joint reference, to appointing an assistant commissioner to deal specifically with the terms of reference and to making sure that he has the resources to do so. In relation to resources, I understand that there is some concern about the way in which the ICAC has worked in the past in that it has to use existing mechanisms and the Police Service to conduct investigations. The motion of the honourable member for South Coast alluded to that when it provided for the use of personnel other than serving or former New South Wales police. That provision was adopted by the Government.
I acknowledge the point made by the honourable member for South Coast. Both the commissioner who conducts the investigation and those who back it up must be independent. I am able to commit those resources to the honourable member for South Coast and to this Parliament. We must make sure that the ICAC does not fail in its task. The honourable member for South Coast has been a member of the ICAC committee. He has had an opportunity to pursue these matters. Perhaps he has not been able to pursue them in that forum in the way he would have liked, but the only way this Parliament can rebuild confidence in the ICAC and not drag it down to the point where people lose confidence in it is to make sure that the reference is a joint reference, that an assistant commissioner is appointed and that he or she is given the necessary resources. We should give the
ICAC some real teeth. I urge the honourable member for South Coast and others, when they vote on the motion, to bear in mind what I have said, and to bear in mind the commitment of the Government to use the ICAC as the independent body that is rightfully charged with carrying out this investigation.
(South Coast) [11.55], in reply: I thank all honourable members who have made genuine and thoughtful contributions to the debate. I express my disappointment at those who did themselves little credit by not thinking about the subject seriously and by using the debate as an opportunity to try to denigrate other members. This motion is for honest police; it is for the vast majority of police. It is a watershed. There is now no doubt in New South Wales - and I have longed to reach this point for many years - that there must be a wide-ranging inquiry into entrenched corruption in the New South Wales Police Service.
That call has been supported by the Premier, and I thank him for that support. It has not been supported by the Minister, and I fail to understand why. I have many confidential discussions and I do not break confidences. However, I know that there is a great deal of concern on both sides of the House about what is happening in the Police Service. The level of concern is unprecedented in my experience. The only difference between the Government and the Opposition is the question of what structure will be used in the investigation. I thank the Premier for his response. I thank also the Leader of the Opposition for his thoughtful contribution.
The Premier's amendment provides for an inquiry into entrenched corruption within the New South Wales Police Service, the activities of the professional responsibility and internal affairs branches of the Police Service in dealing with any problems of corruption and internal investigations generally, the system of promotion in the service, the impartiality of the service and other agencies in investigating and pursuing prosecutions - including but not limited to paedophile activity - the failure of the internal informers policy, and any other matter appertaining to the aforesaid matters concerning criminal activity, neglect or violation of duty. The Premier has not come to that position lightly or because of unsubstantiated and fanciful allegations, as the Minister chooses to term them, by the honourable member for South Coast.
The amendment moved by the Premier is an indication of the real and deep-seated concern at the heart of Government about what is happening. It is also a recognition that what I have put on the table today is serious and well based. It comes from police sources and it will be verified. The Premier's response was reasoned, concerned and thoughtful. The Minister's response was histrionic, personal and shallow. His contribution contained no specifics. He played to the members of the public gallery, many of whom are senior police officers. I understand, and this is the measure of the men.
I correct the honourable member for Ashfield. I made no allegation and I make no allegations against the Minister's staff; that might have been a slight misunderstanding. I was very disappointed when the Minister made a personal allegation about one of my staff Arthur King. It was beneath him. For the Minister to say that he got out of the trunk too soon when this man, because he stood up against Abe Saffron and corrupt police, was carted away in the boot of a car and had his life threatened, spoke volumes for the New South Wales Minister for Police.
There is a necessity for an investigation team to be made up of police not connected with the New South Wales Police Service. It is an amazing breakthrough when both sides of the Parliament agree on that point. The honourable member for Eastwood impressed me, as he always does, with his thoughtful contribution. I have known him for many years and I have a high regard for him. He spoke of the Milloo inquiry being incomplete and, in some way, flawed. He spoke of the ICAC being in jeopardy. The Premier said that the royal commission would be the death knell of the ICAC. The honourable member for Eastwood based his comments on Mr Wran's opposition, but everyone knows my track record on the Wran Government. The honourable member for Coffs Harbour might have a look at it from time to time.
If I genuinely believed that this motion would undermine the ICAC after my 15-year battle of giving hundreds of people somewhere to take matters of corruption, I would certainly not recommend a royal commission. I have given strong support to the ICAC and to Mr Temby. The case of the honourable member for Eastwood is flawed. What is the ICAC and what does it do? It inquires into corruption and into a climate conducive to corruption in government agencies. It tackles the question of corruption prevention, risk management and education very well. His case and the case of the Premier fall on history. The ICAC has been successful, even though it does not handle police corruption adequately, and that is the reason we have come to this point tonight.
Why should not the ICAC investigate? It has a poor track record. It is not trusted by police officers. I know from firsthand knowledge that police officers would attend a royal commission, but they would not attend the ICAC. They have experienced leaks from the ICAC. Mr Katsoulas attended the ICAC, walked out the door, got into his vehicle and had a motor accident because the brake line of his vehicle was cut, such is the contempt of some corrupt police, in my view, who did the job for the ICAC. I might be wrong.
Honest whistleblowers feel naked and unprotected before the ICAC. The methodology of the ICAC is flawed. Police are alerted early, they can get their stories together. Compare the treatment of Mr Cook with that of Commissioner Lauer, as clearly highlighted before the parliamentary committee
in its open hearings when Mr Temby was cross-examined by the honourable member for Eastwood. There is no mechanism in the ICAC to inquire into the top level of the police force because the ICAC is an ongoing structure and depends on the police force for co-operation. Who will invigilate the Commissioner of Police or the deputy commissioners of police? A perusal of the cross-examination of Commissioner Lauer by the State Drugs Crime Commission when Mr Thorley was in the chair would make anyone sick.
Commissioner Lauer was handled with kid gloves by the ICAC in Milloo. The ICAC has had this material from which I quoted today at length since 1992: Casper 1, Casper 2, Seca, Buckshot, Asset. I am in good company. Former Premier Greiner criticises the ICAC for its failure in the investigation of police corruption. The Hon. Ted Pickering is disappointed, as is Gary Sturgess as head and later former head of the Cabinet office. The ICAC failed to act on a wealth of material given to it. Milloo was limited, but the ICAC has and is doing excellent work in many areas.
It is easy to dismiss comments by fellow parliamentarians, but I am talking about the longest serving police Minister in this State. I quoted him earlier in my speech, so I will not go through them all again, but I will chose one passage in which he said, "It was at that time I realised New South Wales police could not be employed to investigate serious organised crime activities within the ranks of the Police Service". That is absolutely staggering. He is on record as saying that officers within the Drug Law Enforcement Agency cannot be trusted to inform on other police officers in drug enforcement. What more do I need to say?
I want to set the record straight. I have checked the unedited version of Hansard
. I have been misquoted by both the Minister and the Premier. I have never said that the ICAC is corrupt. I have said that it is ineffectual in regard to police investigations and I have said that there are leaks in the ICAC, and I stand by that. Unlike the ICAC, which is an ongoing institution and demands the co-operation of the police, a royal commission has a specific focus: it does not have to worry about its future; the staff is not bound to safeguard future careers, and that is a problem with the ICAC. The police in the ICAC have to look to their future. They have to return to the service. The ICAC can co-exist with a royal commission.
A wide-ranging inquiry into corruption in the New South Wales Police Service has never been conducted in this State. The honourable member for Orange, who always impresses me with his contributions, said, "What have royal commissions done in the past?" The prison royal commission did quite a lot and the building royal commission did quite a lot, as did the Chelmsford royal commission, as did the Moffitt royal commission, but a lot of royal commissions fail because they are set up by the Government, terms of reference are chosen by the Government and the royal commissioner is chosen by the Government. I was very grateful for the offer of the Premier for co-operation in terms of the ICAC. I would like that same co-operation extended to the royal commissioner.
More important, the Government chooses the chief investigator, and I have already shown that Brendan John Whelan, the chief investigator for the Woodward royal commission, was corrupt, as was council assisting. There are grave concerns on both sides of the House, but when the Minister is playing to the gallery he underestimates the police force, its intelligence and its integrity. The police can see through him and his histrionics. Members of the New South Wales Police Service have grave concerns about a wide variety of matters within the police force and there is a push for change within the New South Wales police force. It is frightening for this Minister to say that it is preferable to get people out of the service rather than go down the track of charging them in some instances.
This is the Minister for law enforcement. Think about that. All equal in the matter of the enforcement of the law. Crimes have to be investigated and crimes have to be punished. When those responsible for law enforcement commit crimes, they particularly have to be dealt with by the full force of the law. This was a genuine mistake made by Mr Avery. We have the Nelson Chad's, the ex-police and a whole host of others working on wharves and in airports, working as security officers, private investigators and facilitators for crime. I have given details of Nelson Chad and his company Satinvale, and how he works with the fraud squad, how the fraud squad puts briefs his way, how the fraud squad does work for him, and how the taxpayer pays. One wonders why serious fraud in this State has a poor track record of investigation.
The Premier said that we should allow the Police Service to get on with the job. Mr Temby also said that, and I took him to task on the matter. He said, "It may be easier to let the police get out of the force". That statement shocked me. The fact is that corruption prevents the good police from getting on with the job, and it prevents them from getting the reward they justly expect of promotion for doing the job. Those who do the job, and speak out against corruption and fight it actively, have their career stopped - they are vilified, they are spat upon and they are punished. They should be exalted.
We talk about the delay in the appointment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption commissioner in the same breath as we say that we have every faith in the ICAC. We have talked about giving this huge reference to a new commissioner or deputy commissioner, who will now have to walk into an organisation and get to know it, the 90 staff, who is who, who can be trusted, et cetera, with no adjustment period. This Parliament then says, "We
are going to dump on you these wide-ranging terms of reference. You must then take on all of this investigation".
So does a royal commission.
The Minister for Energy and Minister for Local Government and Co-operatives just said, "So does a royal commission". The royal commission would have a particular focus, and would choose its staff for that focus. It would have to start from scratch, but it would not have to come to grips with the internal problems, the culture, the existing staff and the whole range of responsibilities outside the specific terms of reference, as does the ICAC. I mention in passing the snide remark made about Eddie Azzopardi. That betrayed the attitude of the Minister; I think it is disgusting. I put that on the record for Eddie Azzopardi. Every honourable members knows his record. That is why this Parliament supported him.
The honourable member for Coffs Harbour referred to the recommendations of the police counsel that I be charged with perjury in the Winchester inquiry. I did not find that upsetting at all; I found it flattering. I had to be destroyed at the Winchester inquiry. I knew that when I went there. I challenge the Minister for Police to tell me how somewhere between $5 million and $10 million of marijuana can disappear; how his police officers at the senior level can, with mafia figures, grow and harvest marijuana and have a large quantity of it disappear. That question was never addressed by Winchester; he never approached that question. It has never been answered. I challenge the Minister to answer it.
We have not seen confidence evident in many police who stand up in the Police Service. This motion stands up for the Tony Katsoulases, the Deborah Lockes and the Kimba Cooks of this world - those people who have real and raw courage. Their families have been vilified. The honourable member for Cronulla, in his sanctimonious way, talked about how I am spraying police by mentioning their names in this House. He ought to talk to the police who are subjected to the vilification, who are stood on by these mean, pernicious, dishonest members of the police force; their lives are made an absolute misery and, in several instances, they have been totally destroyed. He will then understand why I stand up and do something that I do not like doing, but I do it with the full force of the feeling in my heart that something has got to be done.
We have to believe in the institution, as the Premier said - and many honest police want to sincerely believe, some of them do, in the institution. A royal commission will lance the carbuncle and the rottenness will come out. We will have to address the problems, and the ICAC will have a big job to do in doing that, as will the Ombudsman, the New South Wales Crime Commission and all the other institutions that have been creditably and properly put in place by this Government. People will come forward and give evidence with confidence. I reject the Premier's amendment. I ask the House to carry my motion.
Question - That the amendment be agreed to - put.
The House divided.
Mr Armstrong Mr Morris
Mr Baird Mr W. T. J. Murray
Mr Beck Mr O'Doherty
Mr Blackmore Mr D. L. Page
Mr Causley Mr Peacocke
Mr Chappell Mr Phillips
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Photios
Mr Cochran Mr Richardson
Mrs Cohen Mr Rixon
Mr Collins Mr Schipp
Mr Cruickshank Mr Schultz
Mr Debnam Mrs Skinner
Mr Downy Mr Small
Mr Fahey Mr Smith
Mr Fraser Mr Souris
Mr Glachan Mr Tink
Mr Griffiths Mr Turner
Mr Hartcher Mr West
Mr Hazzard Mr Windsor
Dr Kernohan Mr Zammit
Mr Kinross Tellers
Mr Longley Mr Jeffery
Mr Merton Mr Kerr
Ms Allan Mr Markham
Mr Amery Mr Martin
Mr Anderson Mr Mills
Mr A. S. Aquilina Ms Moore
Mr J. J. Aquilina Mr Moss
Mr Bowman Mr J. H. Murray
Mr Crittenden Mr Nagle
Mr Doyle Mr Neilly
Mr Face Mr Newman
Mr Gaudry Ms Nori
Mr Gibson Mr E. T. Page
Mrs Grusovin Mr Price
Mr Harrison Mr Rogan
Mr Hatton Mr Rumble
Mr Hunter Mr Scully
Mr Iemma Mr Shedden
Mr Irwin Mr Sullivan
Mr Knight Mr Thompson
Mr Knowles Mr Whelan
Mr Langton Mr Yeadon
Mrs Lo Po'
Mr McBride Tellers
Dr Macdonald Mr Beckroge
Mr McManus Mr Davoren
Mr Humpherson Mr Carr
Ms Machin Mr Clough
Mr Petch Dr Refshauge
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question - That the motion be agreed to - put.
The House divided.
Ms Allan Mr Markham
Mr Amery Mr Martin
Mr Anderson Mr Mills
Mr A. S. Aquilina Ms Moore
Mr J. J. Aquilina Mr Moss
Mr Bowman Mr J. H. Murray
Mr Crittenden Mr Nagle
Mr Doyle Mr Neilly
Mr Face Mr Newman
Mr Gaudry Ms Nori
Mr Gibson Mr E. T. Page
Mrs Grusovin Mr Price
Mr Harrison Mr Rogan
Mr Hatton Mr Rumble
Mr Hunter Mr Scully
Mr Iemma Mr Shedden
Mr Irwin Mr Sullivan
Mr Knight Mr Thompson
Mr Knowles Mr Whelan
Mr Langton Mr Yeadon
Mrs Lo Po'
Mr McBride Tellers
Dr Macdonald Mr Beckroge
Mr McManus Mr Davoren
Mr Armstrong Mr Morris
Mr Baird Mr W. T. J. Murray
Mr Beck Mr O'Doherty
Mr Blackmore Mr D. L. Page
Mr Causley Mr Peacocke
Mr Chappell Mr Phillips
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Photios
Mr Cochran Mr Richardson
Mrs Cohen Mr Rixon
Mr Collins Mr Schipp
Mr Cruickshank Mr Schultz
Mr Debnam Mrs Skinner
Mr Downy Mr Small
Mr Fahey Mr Smith
Mr Fraser Mr Souris
Mr Glachan Mr Tink
Mr Griffiths Mr Turner
Mr Hartcher Mr West
Mr Hazzard Mr Windsor
Dr Kernohan Mr Zammit
Mr Kinross Tellers
Mr Longley Mr Jeffery
Mr Merton Mr Kerr
Mr Carr Mr Humpherson
Mr Clough Ms Machin
Dr Refshauge Mr Petch
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion agreed to.