On 10 February 2005,
the Senate referred to the Committee the examination of additional estimates of
proposed expenditure for the financial year 2004-2005. The Committee is
responsible for the examination of the Attorney-General's and the Immigration
and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs portfolios. The additional estimates
statements for both portfolios were tabled in the Senate on 10 February 2005. On 10 February, the
Senate also referred to the Committee any issues arising from the Advance to the
Finance Minister for its consideration as part of this additional estimates
The Committee was required to report on its consideration of
the additional estimates on or before 15
The Committee met in public session from 14 February 2005 to 18 February 2005 for a total of 28 hours 3 minutes.
The Hansard of the proceedings records the examination of
estimates and may be accessed through the internet at:
The Hansard is also available on the Parliamentary database.
An index of the Hansard for each portfolio appears at
Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.
The Committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon
Minister for Justice and Customs who represented the Attorney-General and from
Senator the Hon Amanda
Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and
Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.
Officers from both departments and associated agencies also
appeared. The Committee thanks Ministers and officers for their assistance.
Questions on Notice
The Committee notes that the Standing Orders require the
Committee to set dates for the lodgement of any written answers or additional
information and for supplementary hearings. The Committee resolved that the
deadline for the submission of written answers and additional information by
both portfolios would be close of business on Friday, 8 April 2005.
In this report, the Committee draws the attention of the
Senate to issues and concerns raised in the three days of hearings. These
The Committee again questioned
officers from the Attorney-General's portfolio in respect of the activities of Mr
and his treatment when in custody overseas. The Committee also canvassed the
allegations made by Mr Habib
that he had been tortured while in custody.
Statements made by officers in
evidence before the Committee can be considered as reflecting adversely upon Mr
Habib. The rules of the Senate provide that,
where evidence is given to a Committee which may be considered as reflecting
adversely on a person, the Committee is required to provide that person with a
reasonable opportunity to access and respond to that evidence. The Committee therefore
wrote to Mr Habib
on 18 February 2005
extending him an opportunity to respond.
Officers from the Department of
Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs were questioned at length
concerning the detention of Ms Cornelia
The Committee questioned the
Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mr
regarding the murder of Australian Protective Service Officer Adam
Dunning in the Solomon
Islands on 21 December 2004. The Commissioner also responded to
questions concerning the safety of officers serving in the Solomon Islands and
Papua New Guinea.
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