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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 701..


PERSONAL EXPLANATION

MR WHITECROSS (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I might rise under standing order 46 to make a personal explanation myself.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, I claim to have been misrepresented by Mr Hird, who claims that I misrepresented him. In Mr Hird's statement to the house a few minutes ago, he opened up by saying that I had misrepresented him, and he made various references to the Auditor-General's report, but at no stage disclosed any occasion on which I had misrepresented him. Therefore, his claim that I had misrepresented him is completely fallacious and without basis.

In relation to the merits of the Auditor-General's report on the matter and the question of a code of practice for members in their dealings with the Government, I think that these are matters that are better left to later debate, after the Public Accounts Committee has inquired into and reported on the Auditor-General's report. So, I do not want to open up those matters now. I just want to have it on the record that Mr Hird has not indicated any way in which I have misrepresented him, and therefore, transparently, there is nothing to apologise for.

Sitting suspended from 12.18 to 2.30 pm

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Australian Federal Police - Alleged Corruption

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question without notice is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as the Minister for Police. Minister, there have been a number of serious claims made in recent weeks regarding alleged corruption in the Australian Federal Police. Specifically, a former AFP sergeant has claimed that, according to him, up to half of the officers of the AFP have engaged in some form of improper conduct, including robbing suspects, verballing, dealing in drugs and assaulting prisoners. These allegations appear to mirror similar allegations coming out of the royal commission in New South Wales. At a Trends luncheon earlier this month, the AFP Commissioner, Mick Palmer, stated that the hierarchical and branch structure of the New South Wales police force itself created an environment which could be conducive to corruption - a structure similar to the structure which, until recently, was in the AFP. Minister, can you advise the Assembly what steps you and the commissioner have taken to identify whether the kind of corruption alleged does exist in the AFP, particularly among officers involved in policing in the ACT?


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